Child Development Center lesson in sharing collects half a ton of canned goods
Contact: Melissa Vasquez 956/381-2741
Posted: 11/24/2008
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The youngest Broncs at The University of Texas-Pan American, the children of the Child Development Center, collected half a ton of nonperishable food items to donate to the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley as part of their daily lesson at the facility - to always share and be nice to one another.

Pictured left to right are Kathryn Palacios, Thor Vela, Cameron Valdez, and Marcus Zamora, all students at the UTPA Child Development Center, sorting through the canned goods the CDC collected during a weeklong food drive.
The CDC children along with their parents, who are primarily UTPA students on financial aid, collected more than 900 canned goods and other nonperishable food during a weeklong food drive said Elda M. Perez, director.

"We teach our children every day about sharing their toys and being nice to one another. We just thought it would be a great opportunity for our children to share and give back to our community," Perez said.

Perez said the response to the first food drive for the center was overwhelming not only by her 116 young students, who range in age from three months to 4 years of age, but also from the parents. She said the UTPA student-parents were happy to participate with some donating large amounts of items, which they delivered in large boxes or laundry baskets.

Food Bank RGV representative Juan Guerrero unloads the cans collected by the CDC into a bin on Friday, Nov. 21.
"A lot of our students are on financial aid and the fact that they were able to give just says a lot about our parents," Perez said.

Some of the children and parents coordinated their own food drives in their neighborhoods to help spread the lesson of sharing this holiday season while at the same time collecting the food items for the center's food drive Perez said.

Food Bank RGV representatives visited the center on Friday, Nov. 21 to pick up the items and thank the little ones for their warmhearted contribution.

"Children feeding children is just wonderful," said Carter Robinson, food/fund drive coordinator for Food Bank RGV. "We supply over 27,000 meals a week and 65 percent of them are children. The national average in America is one out of five kids goes to bed hungry every day. In Texas it is one out of four, and in the Rio Grande Valley it is one out of two."

The Food Bank RGV is the fourth largest food bank in Texas and the 23rd largest in the nation.

For more information on the UTPA Child Development Center, visit or call 956/381-2469.