LULAC and Santa bring Holiday cheer to families in Columbus Junction

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Latino civil rights organization partnered with Vegan Outreach to distribute food and  presents for families of Columbus Junction ahead of Christmas 

Columbus Junction, IA – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)  Council 317 of Columbus Junction and Vegan Outreach hosted a food and gift drive thru to help make the holidays a little brighter for families in Columbus Junction, Iowa. 

Families and children were able to drive through the local Econo-Mart in Columbus  Junction to collect their food basket, presents, and take a photo with Santa Claus.  Crystal Ambriz, president of LULAC Council 317 of Columbus Junction, said they  wanted to do something for the families who have been impacted during the pandemic. 

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“This event is not just important for us but it’s important for our community who have  been struggling throughout the pandemic and need relief during the holidays” said  Ambriz. “It’s a blessing having community support to be able to do these types of events  and make a difference for the families”. 

With funding from the Columbus United Fund, The Robert and Blenda Ontiveros Family  Foundation, and support from Wal-Mart of Muscatine, the drive-thru event was able to  give away gift bags for 164 children that included toys such as Legos, action figures, hot wheels, dolls, games, and more. 

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Along with the gift bags 60 families received food baskets as part of the Vegan Food Aid  Program between LULAC Iowa and Vegan Outreach to provide food aid and education  to Latino communities across Iowa since June 2020. Aracely Vazquez, the newly hired  Community Advocate at the LULAC Council in Columbus Junction, has been working  with Vegan Outreach to distribute the food baskets to families in the community.

“Through the distribution of food baskets and groceries at our local Econo-Mart, the  Vegan Food Aid Program has provided alternative, healthy food options that not only brings relief but also educational value to our community” said Vazquez. “The program  has been well-received in the community. “We are grateful for the strong generosity  and support from Vegan Outreach over the year”. 

Since starting back in June The Vegan Food Aid Program in Iowa has support 446  families with regular groceries providing an estimated 50,000 meals to Latino  communities across Iowa hardest by the pandemic. 

LULAC wishes the community a safe and Happy Holiday. 

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