Food drive to help Downey families starts Monday

PTA HELPS volunteers at a Thanksgiving distribution last week.

PTA HELPS volunteers at a Thanksgiving distribution last week.

DOWNEY — Downey Council PTA HELPS is holding a week-long food drive to collect food for needy families this holiday season.

The food drive begins Monday, Nov. 26, and continues through Dec. 14. Drop-off bins are located in Warren High’s administration building and at the Downey Police Department.

Donations can include, but are not limited to, the following items: cereal, tuna, bag rice, bag pinto beans, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles, dry pasta, boxed macaroni and cheese, canned beans, boxed rice, Hamburger Helper, canned meat, peanut butter, canned fruit, soup, canned and boxed potatoes, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, muffin mix, chili, crackers, soap, toilet paper, and toothpaste.

Downey Council PTA HELPS is a non-profit food pantry started in the 1960’s by Downey PTA members and families to help families of the Downey Unified School District during times of hardship. They are an emergency-based food operation and cater to Downey students and Downey residents. The pantry also assists elderly residents.

The pantry is open two days a week -- Wednesdays and Fridays -- and is completely volunteer-driven.

This year, the pantry has provided food for over 250 families, and last Friday it completed its Thanksgiving basket distribution, providing a turkey and three bags of food to hungry families.

Downey Council PTA HELPS will hold its Christmas distribution on Dec. 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with families again receiving three bags of food.

“All this food is donated year round by our 19 Downey schools, as each school has their own food drive,” said Dorothy Pemberton, PTA HELPS director. “What we don’t receive, we purchase from funds that are donated by the public.”

For questions or more information, contact Dorothy Pemberton at (310) 717-3637 or

NewsEric Pierce