Fueling the Future

Rotarian Patsy Ticknor

Linda Lyon

Just as in 2020, communities of the Oracle School District (OSD) came through recently to ensure students did not go hungry. This time though, the effort, renamed “Fueling the Future,” was even more successful.

The brainchild of governing board member Edie Crall, this year’s food drive collected over 120 large bags of nonperishable food from residents of SaddleBrooke Ranch and SaddleBrooke. Donors also contributed enough money to buy two pickup trucks full of eggs, milk, butter, apples, oranges, potatoes, and carrots.

These generous donations provided 55 families with at least two bags each of nonperishables along with a good supply of perishables. Over 70% of the students at the district’s one school, Mountain Vista Elementary, qualify for free and reduced lunch. These donations were key to ensuring students were fed while the school cafeteria was closed over the two-week winter break.

Of course, collecting the food was only half of the job and fortunately, numerous volunteers from the SaddleBrooke communities as well as Oracle stepped up to put the donation bags together, pick up the perishables, and hand them out to families. The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke, the Oracle Fire Department, the OSD Parent Teacher Organization, and five students from the 8th grade are due special thanks for coming out on a cold morning to hand out the bags of food.

When asked if she thought Fueling Our Future would be an annual project, Edie Crall responded enthusiastically, “Absolutely. Our students can’t learn if they are hungry and wondering where their next meal is coming from.” She also said that she was “blown away by the generosity of donors as well as by the willingness of community partners to bring it all together. I’ve been approached by other organizations that want to ensure this effort continues, and am confident our communities will continue to deliver.”