The Point: ‘Tis the season for giving; staff pitches in to help in Riverside County

Did you know? One in five children are “food insecure” and seniors are especially at risk of food insecurity in the Inland Empire, according to Feeding America Riverside/San Bernardino, whose mission is to alleviate hunger. At Parkridge Elementary School in Corona, nearly 80 percent of the students come from low-income homes with limited resources to buy winter coats.

The Riverside County Transportation Commission staff and I-15 Express Lanes team members are helping families stay fed and warm with community service projects.

RCTC collected non-perishable items from staff members and donated 273 pounds of food to Feeding America on November 18, in time for Thanksgiving. The donations equated to 20 full grocery bags.

The Thanksgiving Food Drive is one of several activities that RCTC staff have undertaken this year to help the community. Staff also participated in a holiday toy drive for the Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health Department, donated backpacks and school supplies to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, collected gently worn work attire for the UC Riverside R’Professional Career Closet, and sent travel-sized toiletry items to Operation: Care and Comfort to aid military troops serving overseas.

The I-15 Express Lanes team is spearheading the “Operation Warm” winter coat drive at Parkridge Elementary School. Skanska-Ames Joint Venture design-build team members are collecting new coats in all sizes for students ages 5 to 12. The team also is accepting coat donations from community members who wish to lend a hand. Donations are due by noon on December 18. For more information, contact Sunny Medrano at