Natomas Unified operates a free food locker to serve needy families, with staffing provided by the District’s Adult Transition Program that helps young adults ages 18 to 22 overcome mental or physical challenges by teaching them skills for living independently and getting a job.
Hungry local residents receive canned or dried foods, while volunteer students from Adult Transition Program develop or polish skills in greeting and serving families, stocking shelves, bagging groceries, teamwork, checking food expiration dates, and keeping the locker open and operating smoothly.
The facility serves families from 4 – 5:30 p.m. every third and fourth Friday of the month. It is located near the tennis courts at Natomas High School, 3301 Fong Ranch Road.
The food locker is dedicated to the memory of Joel Michael Schwieger Jr., son of NUSD’s Adult Transitions Program teacher, Joel Schwieger and his wife Darian. “Joey” was born with autism and died at a young age, 30, but he continues to serve as an inspiration to his parents.
A dedication plaque for the food locker, located at Natomas High School, contains a photo of Joey and says “his infectious smile touched the lives of everyone around him. He will always be remembered for his love and caring for others.” Joel Sr. added that his son routinely places others’ needs before his own.
The caring spirit is meant to be a driving force behind Joey’s Food Locker, which receives canned and dried foods from the Sacramento Food Bank and from the public via containers to be placed at all NUSD campuses. The NUSD District Office located at 1901 Arena Blvd. also accepts canned and dried foods.
Whoever shows up at Joey’s Food Locker receives food, with quantities varying based on family size. By helping to fill stomachs, Natomas Unified hopes also to boost the academic prospects of hungry students in need. “It not only will help them with food, it will help them with education,” Schwieger Sr. said. “Instead of worrying about their next meal, they’ll be fed and ready for school.”
What type of donations do we take?
Canned food/dry food
Monetary donations are always welcome. Your donations may be tax deductible.