Berkeley High School will host its annual Holiday Meal for the local homeless and hungry on December 11 starting at noon.

The event — a major production orchestrated as much by students as parent volunteers and staff, involves providing a warm meal and hospitality with delicious fresh food and entertainment.

In conjunction with preparations for the Holiday Meal currently under way, there is a canned food drive on campus.  The goal is to amass 3,400 pounds of food, or one pound for every student on campus. A small portion of this food will be used to make some dishes for the meal, but most of it will be donated to the Alameda County Food Bank who say the need is greater then ever this year with one out of every six Alameda County residents using their services — 43% of whom are children.

The school is calling for donations of fresh food and money from parents, community members, and local businesses. Specifically, the school would welcome turkeys or hams (pre-cooked and cut is ideal), potato dishes, salads, or other hearty or healthy dishes and desserts other than pumpkin pies.

If you have a student at BHS, encourage them to get involved by bringing canned or other non-perishable foods to school. There are bins for dropoff in the C and D buildings and G-H breezeway.

Food donations can be delivered on Saturday morning, December 11 to the main entrance of the school before noon — the school can also accept them at other times if need be. Please email Chris Young, Director of Student Activities, with any questions or to provide information about your donation at:

Monetary donations are accepted as cash in the BHS Leadership Office (addressed to Mr. Young) or as checks written to “BHS Student Activities” with “Holiday Meal” in the memo line. These donations are tax deductible and a letter of receipt with the school tax ID number will be given upon request.  They can be mailed to: Berkeley High School, ATTN: Chris Young, 1980 Allston Way,Berkeley, CA  94704.

Finally, students and parents can also get involved by volunteering at the meal. Shifts are as follows:

Friday Funsters: December 10, 4:30pm-8:00pm
Early Birds: December 11, 7:30am-Noon
Homestretch Heroes: December 11, Noon-4:30pm

If you would like to volunteer please email Flora Ziprin ( full names of volunteers, whether the volunteer is a student, parent, or community member and what shift(s) you will work.

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...