A fire engine food basket was one of many creative entries at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center.

A fire engine food basket was one of many creative entries at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center.

By Sabrina Lynch-Aguiniga, Community Resource Manager
Wasco State Prison-Reception Center

The staff at Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC) rallied together to collect and distribute more than 4,350 pounds of food to the local community of Wasco.

Each year WSP-RC holds a decorated-basket contest in combination with a food drive to collect items to fill baskets/boxes.

Local businesses, congressman and assemblyman offices are contacted for donations of turkeys or hams to place in the baskets and boxes. Each prison office willingly participates and submits baskets filled with canned foods, plates, napkins, plastic silverware, etc., and a turkey/ham voucher for a local family struggling during the Thanksgiving holiday.

The winning office earned bragging rights until next year’s event and they also usually receive a pizza party.

Donations from local businesses, as well as the generous donations from WSP-RC staff, organizers were fortunate this year to fill 66 baskets/boxes, in addition to a turkey or ham voucher in each. Food that did not fit in the baskets was donated to local churches to be distributed to additional families not on WSP-RC’s Thanksgiving basket lists.

A food basket "ship" was one of the entries in the contest.

A food basket “ship” was one of the entries in the contest.