San Diego Toyota Dealer Association

Area Dealerships Help Ensure Children Don’t Go Hungry (in Dignity)
by Toni Randle-Cook
Jan/Feb 2019
San Diego Toyota Dealer Association
Teaming Up for a Good Cause
Toyota team members worked with dealership employees across Southern California to volunteer at the San Diego Food Bank. They spent hours packing meals for children from low-income homes. 
On a normal work day, they may be competition.
 
Last August, more than 50 Toyota Dealer Associates representing nearly a dozen dealerships in the San Diego area worked together for a good cause.
 
Mossy Toyota, Norm Reeves Toyota San Diego, Larry H. Miller Toyota Lemon Grove, Toyota Carlsbad, Toyota Escondido, Toyota of Poway, Kearny Mesa Toyota, Frank Toyota and Toyota of El Cajon were represented at the “Food 4 Kids Backpack Program” event.
 
“I have always been very proud to say that I work for Toyota because the product is known for quality, safety and reliability,” said Laura Brewer, guest relations manager, Toyota of El Cajon. “It's an added bonus to me, knowing how involved Toyota is in supporting the community and inviting all Toyota Associates to be part of its mission.”
 
According to the San Diego Food Bank website, the program provides weekend food packages to chronically hungry elementary school students from low-income households who are at risk of hunger over the weekend when free school meals are unavailable.
 
“Knowing we were putting together something that would put a smile on a child’s face was warming to the soul and we all felt it,” said Tricia Armstrong, customer relations manager, Norm Reeves Toyota San Diego.
 
In an assembly line, Toyota Dealer Associates spent several hours packing the bags of food which will be discreetly tucked into students’ backpacks. The program currently feeds 2,600 students each week.
 
“Volunteering in general always makes you feel fulfilled and happy because you are a part of making a difference. But volunteering at the food bank brings even greater rewards,” said Gina Gonzales customer relations manager, Mossy Toyota. “The services provided are basic necessities of life. It really puts everything into perspective. Plus, we all had fun doing it!”
 
Adding to the fun, San Diego Padres center fielder Manuel Margot, members of the Pad Squad and the team’s mascot Swinging Friar all made appearances at the event.
 
The Toyota Dealer Association and San Diego County dealers also donated $15,000 to the San Diego Food Bank.
 
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