Winter food drive starts from scratch

COAST CITIES — The annual Holiday Baskets program is gearing up to serve a record number of local families in need at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this winter, but still expects to turn away hundreds of families because of low food supplies.According to Suzanne Colby, of the Encinitas-based Community Resource Center (CRC), because of ongoing food shortages, the are no supplies set aside for Holiday Baskets this year, leaving food donation needs at a critical level.

CRC invites all coastal residents to be part of one of the largest community efforts in the region, with more than 1,600 volunteers prepared to collect, sort and distribute donations of food, blankets, jackets/coats, bikes, baby items, toys, and more. Visit for more information on ways to help, flier templates, food lists and online volunteer registration.

CRC donation drop-off sites include the
Encinitas Thrift Store Donation Center at 111 C St., Encinitas between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily (except Nov. 22 and Nov. 23), the
Oceanside Thrift Store Donation Center, 1405 S. El Camino Real between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily (except Nov. 22 and Nov. 23) Find out permitted times to drop off at the Del Mar Fairgrounds by e-mailing

The center is looking for help with:

— Organizing a drive to collect items or donate online now

— Asking guests to bring an item for Holiday Baskets to your holiday party

— Buying or selling $10 Turkey Tickets to help provide food for a family in need

— Forwarding this message and post on web site or Social Media accounts

The CRC still particularly needs:

— Non-perishable food

— New toys (all ages)

— New or gently used jackets/coats, baby car seats (all sizes)

— Overstock items from hotels and businesses (linens, towels, novelties)

— Used bicycles – CRC will repair and give as gifts.

Donations preferred by Dec. 12, but later arrangements can be made. Volunteer sign-ups accepted until all shifts are filled. (Advanced sign-up required)

For more information, contact Suzie Colby at or (760) 230-6305


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