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Hart High ASB feeds needy

21-year-tradition is entirely run by student government association

Posted: December 24, 2013 10:13 a.m.
Updated: December 24, 2013 10:13 a.m.

Hart High School ASB member Rocky Novaes, right, serves turkey to Vivian Pheifer at the school's 21st annual "Feed the Needy" dinner Friday night at the school cafeteria. Signal photo by Charlie Kaijo

SANTA CLARITA - Rows of tables lined the cafeteria of Hart High School offering hot food, plates of cookies and deserts, as well as wrapped gifts prepared for families from throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.

About 600 people were invited to the “Feed the Needy” dinner organized Friday night by student government members, their families and Associated Student Government Director Diana De Lamaza.

“They have philanthropy in their hearts,” De Lamaza said of her students. “They just want to give back.”

At a table close to the entrance, students greeted guests with blankets knit by ASB students’ family members. Additionally, students prepared bags of groceries and canned goods for each of the families to take home at the end of the night.

Youngsters were invited to sit on Santa’s lap, and each received a wrapped gift.

The “Feed the Needy” dinner is a 21-year-old tradition at Hart High School. The list of those invited to the dinner is put together by a network of educators and others throughout the Santa Clarita Valley in a position to know where the need lies.

Counselors contact families through teachers in English Language Learners programs throughout the Santa Clarita Valley. Teachers provide names of kids and families they believe are most in need.

Karla Garcia learned about the dinner through her 7-year-old son, a second-grader from Newhall Elementary School. It is their third year attending.

“The teachers are always welcoming,” she said. “A lot of the families are Hispanic and many of the teachers will speak Spanish.”

Her sister Delmy Garcia, a single mother, learned about the dinner through the English program she attends at Placerita Elementary School.

The dinner has grown as word has gotten out, said Pete Calzia, retired ASB director.

“The first one, under 100 people showed up,” he said. “In five years we had over 600 people coming on a regular basis and by the sixth year we had a line of 1,200 people from Hart High to Jack in the Box.”

All of the effort is provided by the 88 students in the ASB class and their families, organizers said.

“They’re all people in the community.

“We gave letters to school counselors at Hart, Placerita, and Newhall elementary schools,” said Caleb Bae, senior class president at Hart High and lead organizer of the event.

“All the food was donated by students and staff, and a lot of the toys were donated by the Sheriff’s Department,” he said.




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