Event Recap: Calmeca Bilingual Academy – November 21, 2020

This article came from the Linda Murphy. Linda is a new volunteer with Food For Friends and we thank her for the article. At the bottom of the article is a copy of an email we received from the Principle at Calmeca, thanking us for this event. For more pictures from this event, go to our album on Facebook titled 2020-11-21 Calmeca Bilingual Academy 

On Saturday, November 21 Food for Friends were blessed to serve 300 Students and their families at Calmeca Bilingual Academy in Brighton Park.

The event was coordinated by Linda Murphy, Joe Scanlan and Tina Kehagias along with their 26 committed volunteers. This trio are brand new partners to the Food For Friends family. They felt the calling to give more and to give big at Thanksgiving this year.

Karen Vargas, a veteran volunteer with Food For Friends, introduced them to her former school principal where she was a student teacher at the beginning of her career.

Karen remembered how these students and families were reliant on the school for their daily meals. So Karen checked in with the school and found out that with Covid 19, the school has been closed and thus no meals available.  The students and their families were having a tough time finding meals. Food For Friends was the perfect partner to serve them at this most challenging time.

We worked with the Principal of the school, who came up with an excellent idea. In order to support her teachers and students, the Principal offered an incentive for every student to attend their scheduled November school conferences, to be held virtually this years

Linda Murphy, Joe Scanlan and Tina Kehagias along with many of their 26 committed volunteers.

Volunteers packed our Food For Friends Blue Bags with Instant potatoes, stuffing mix, gravy, cranberry sauce, cake mix, gelatin mix, cans of corn, green beans, yams and a box of hot cocoa. The Blue Bags were then delivered along with 7 pallets of 20+ lb turkeys to the school.

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, the sun was shining and it was a joyful day! The Blue Bags and the turkeys were were set up outside the school gym ready for for drive by pick up. At the announced time, families began arriving to pick up their turkeys and the Blue Bags.

Over the next two hours, we delivered all the turkeys and the Blue Bags. While staying socially distant, we were able to meet all the families. There was a ton of love in the air and loads of happiness as the families picked up their food and went on their way home to plan their Thanksgiving meal.

Linda Murphy, volunteer with Food For Friends


Note: The following is a copy of an email Linda received from the Principal at Calmeca, thanking us for this event. It is great to hear from our serving event partners like this, so we thought we would feature it here.  


Hello Linda,

I have received your email with all of the photos.  I have all of the photos that I am sharing with my staff and parents during my meetings. I will be using these to future marketing efforts.

I am so grateful to you, Karen and the incredible team that helped more than 300 of our families during this Thanksgiving.  Also, the set up and clean up afterwards was so well orchestrated that you made it seem so easy.  My students and parents have expressed such sincere gratitude for your work and generosity!!

With much appreciation,

Sylvia Orozco-Garcia,  Principal  – Calmeca Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language