It’s time to break out a $10 bill and your appetite because the 120 volunteers for the 16th annual CASA Kids Box Lunches are gearing up to deliver a delicious lunch right to your desk.
The box lunches are one of Court Appointed Special Advocates’ biggest fundraisers and the proceeds are used to recruit, train and support the 150 CASA volunteers who advocate on behalf of more than 400 abused and neglected children in El Dorado County.
CASA’s build relationships with children, offering a listening ear and providing valuable information to help judges decide what is in the best interest for the child.
Not only does the community support the event by ordering more than 3,000 lunches, a wide variety of businesses and individuals volunteer their time to make it happen.
To start off, John Sanders of Old Town Grill helps with purchasing the right amounts of food and getting top quality turkey.
Ron Thompson of Thompson’s Motors volunteers the use of his box truck to bring the food to the Diamond Springs Firefighters Hall which donates the hall for the two days it takes to set up and make the lunches.
Strauss Food Service donates the use of its refrigerator truck and its freezers.
More than 120 volunteers donate their time, beginning at 4:30 a.m. to assemble and deliver the lunches.
Barsotti’s Juice Company donates the pint bottles of freshly pressed apple juice that make the CASA box lunches such a looked-forward to treat.
Gael and Joan Barsotti, founders of the juice company, began donating juice for the event 16 years ago. Joan Barsotti, who died in 2010, was a member of the original CASA board of directors when the organization began in 1993 and was heavily involved in the organization for many years.
Barsotti’s freshly presses golden delicious and Raeburn or Fuji apples into juice for the lunches before bottling it in pint bottles.
“We pack them in crates and take them to Strauss Food Service in Diamond Springs. Strauss stores them in its freezers and the bottles are put into the lunches still frozen so that when the lunches are delivered, the juice is still icy cold,” said Gael Barsotti. Last year, the company donated 3,000 bottles of juice.
They also support other community youth organizations with juice and apples.
“Helping kids was one of Joan’s things,” said Gael. “This is a small thing to do, but we’ll keep doing it for her.”
Other big time supporters are Thompson Dealerships with about 100 lunches; Aerojet in Rancho Cordova with 99 lunches, ITW Rippey of El Dorado Hills, and Blue Shield of California with about 129 lunches last year. Blue Shield matches employee contributions and has been part of the box lunch program since the El Dorado Hills campus opened.
EID is another large supporter, ordering 30-60 lunches each year.
“Everybody looks forward to the lunches and we love the Barsotti’s Juice, ” said Karen Cross, EID public information analyst.
Aerojet in Rancho Cordova became a corporate sponsor of CASA last year, although they have unofficially supported the box lunch program for five years. “We bought over 100 lunches last year. We only gave the employees 24 hours notice but many of them not only bought a lunch, they added a donation as well,” said Kristin Conner, CASA board president and Aerojet employee. “When the driver delivered the lunches, the car was stacked to the roof. It was a lot of fun, but this year we’re giving people a couple of weeks notice.”
An ad book accompanies each box lunch, giving information about CASA, stories about some of the children served and highlighting companies and organizations that support CASA.
CASA volunteers take only one or two cases at a time, allowing ample time to gather thorough information. They build relationships with their “CASA” kids, spending time with them, gathering facts about their life so they can report back to the judge. This allows the judge to make a much better decision as to what is best for the child.
This year the date for lunch pre-orders is April 9. Each lunch is $10 and includes a turkey or veggie wrap, Barsotti juice, two cookies, a mint, chips and a CASA booklet.
Lunches will be delivered by noon on Thursday, April 26.
To volunteer to help make or deliver lunches or to order lunches for your school or business call 530-622-9882.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or email@example.com. Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.