Hughson Unified’s ELF program gathers items to help families, students during the holidays

Once again this year, the generosity of the staff at the Hughson Unified School District was on full display via the  ELF (Everyone Loves Family) program. More than 200 district employees donated an estimated $4,500 in food, toys, clothing, gift cards and other items, which all will be contributed to the Hughson Community Christmas Basket program to help families in need during the holiday season.

“We started it the week before Thanksgiving and ended on Friday (Dec. 9),” said Tammie Moore, a special education teacher at Hughson High who organizes the ELF Program.

Tammy Lee, coordinator of the Christmas Basket program, expects more than 350 families to participate in this year’s program. Distribution begins Monday at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church on the corner of Euclid and Fox and will continue through Friday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Lee said.

Families still can schedule a pick-up time at the church by calling Lee at (209) 202-8812. Seniors and others who cannot leave their homes also should call Lee to arrange a food delivery.

Food boxes include donated chickens, butter, milk, eggs, bread, canned goods, fruits and vegetables. Hundreds of children receive toys, clothing and other presents.

There still is time for community members to donate items. Toys and gift cards are especially welcome.

“We give each child a present,” Lee explained. “We have a lot of kids in the 11 to 17 age range and it’s hard to buy for them, so gift cards are appreciated.”

The Christmas Basket program has been a part of the Hughson community for more than 50 years.