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Lathrop students help struggling families
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Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann greets STEM Academy eighth grader Talvir Singh and PE coach David Cordero at the Sheriff’s bus as they deliver a box of food for Second Harvest Food Bank and the Thanksgiving dinners for those in need later this month. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

Sirens were blaring Friday morning in Lathrop with officers in marked and unmarked cars making the rounds of schools collecting Thanksgiving foods donated by students. 

Scales at the end of the day showed some 4,800 pounds of food had been donated by the school children. 

Lathrop Police Services and Second Harvest Food Bank joined forces to take the large Sheriff’s bus to the community’s elementary schools and its one high school under the direction of Acting Police Chief Ryan Biedermann. 

Students from the River Islands Academy to the Next Generation STEM Academy, Mossdale Elementary, Joseph Widmer Elementary and Lathrop High School were waiting for the police caravan as the bus turned into their campuses with red lights flashing and sirens sounding from all the vehicles making their presence known. 

At the River Islands Academy, the entire student body of 800 were gathered in the school quad near their stage with countless bags of food for Thanksgiving dinner for needy families as the bus rolled to a stop and students boarded the bus with their contributions in arms carrying them to the rear of the bus.

Sheriff’s deputies and volunteers from the Sheriff’s STARS were on hand donating their time to ensure the event went as smoothly as possible. 

Deputy Chris Matsuoka was credited for organizing the event on the part of the Lathrop Police Service noting that they had used the bus last year to collect clothing for those in need but decided this year that there was a greater need for food in their wide spread effort with the Food Bank that would reach the entire community.  

To contact Glenn Kahl, email