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Cesar Chavez Community Service Award and the Winter Community Food Drive

High School and Junior High/Middle School students are invited to participate in the Annual Community Food Drive, co-sponsored by Progreso Latino and the César Chávez Scholarship Fund. All participating students will become eligible to win The César Chávez Community Service Award, but in order to do so, students or Student Teams must submit a comprehensive application.

Projects need not be limited to organizing a Community Food Drive, however, we encourage at least one group to organize a food drive activity.

Schools/Student Teams can also be nominated to receive the award - if you know a school or community youth group who you feel deserves the award, you may submit a letter explaining why. The letter must be dated no later than December 31 to be eligible for the following year.

The submitted project proposals must explain how students will advance the César Chávez values and principles by engaging in volunteer, educational, and cultural activities in their communities. The selected project will be rated on the ability for students to instill an ethic of service and civic responsibility through their enthusiasm and achievement, as they become involved in their communities to gain the unique opportunity to learn about César Chávez.

All projects must raise awareness about César Chávez and must show that it falls in line with the Core Values of César Chávez (click here for more on Core Values). One way to do this is to organize an activity that will help fight hunger, such as a Food and Fund Drive.

For other project ideas, click here.

The deadline is December 31st to apply for a project for the follow calendar year and selected student teams and their mentor(s) must attend a community announcement on Martin Luther King Day in January to receive t-shirts. Students and their teachers/mentors will also be invited to the Annual César Chávez Breakfast, which is normally held on César's birthday anniversary on March 31st, to receive recognition. We understand that students may not be able to take time off from school when the event is held on a week day, so a team of three -- a teacher, mentor and/or the student team leader who shows outstanding participation -- will be invited as our guests to the breakfast to receive the César Chávez Community Service Award award on behalf of the school.

Mandatory - All awardees must be ready to schedule a 1/2 hour visit by someone from the César Chávez Scholarship Committee to learn more about César Chávez.

Here are some ideas to help you organize a Community Food Drive:

  • A Food and Fund Drive provides opportunities for students to learn about nutrition and the food pyramid, food availability, and budgeting. It teaches them about César Chávez and the values that he wanted to instill in all people.
  • A Food and Fund Drive provides opportunities to foster a sense of caring for others.
  • A Food and Fund Drive provides an opportunity for student leaders in your school to carry out public relations for the drive and for the César Chávez Community Service Project. (Student Council, National Honor Society).
  • A Food and Fund Drive provides opportunities for team work & school spirit activities.
Here are some ideas to get students motivated:

  1. Collect money donations. For each dollar you collect, you add one link to a paper chain.
  2. Each grade must have a separate color so that when you hang the chains, they can see what grade is winning. It is a great way to raise money. For every $1.00 donated, you provide $13.00 worth of food to a family in need.
  3. Donate three cans of a meat product, vegetables, fruits, hearty soup, cereal, juice, peanut butter, etc. and receive a homework pass or casual dress day.
  4. The Principal or another high profile teacher or coach could perform a stunt, shave their head/ mustache/ beard, dress up like Elvis, etc., when students meet food/funds collection goal.
  5. Have a competition between classrooms. The winning classroom has a party or special treat.
  6. Create a display of the MyPyramid - coupled with brown bags decorated with the pyramid- encourage the students to take one and fill it with food from all the food groups.
  7. Have students fast for 1-2 meals (high school) - empty their bellies and fill their brains collect food (to symbolize the food they would have eaten) to fill a school bus.
  8. Sponsor a fun run/walk drive.
  9. Have a jar filled with beans and have students bring in a bag of legumes (beans) and guess the Food Group of where it belongs: (Grain, Fruit, Meat and Beans)
  10. Souper Kids – collection of soup with competition between classes.
  11. * Organize a Student Team and each Team Member will receive a César Chávez t-shirt to wear between January 15 and March 31 during all Food Drive activities. Plan on having the Team Members wear them once a week at school and also at any outside community activities related to the Food Drive.
  12. * Raise funds and raise awareness of the César Chávez Scholarship Fund, which oversees the Tam Tran Scholarship a program that offers scholarships to undocumented students (

* See above for more about the César Chávez Breakfast

It is recommended that you contact us to discuss your proposed project for your mini-grant. Just click on the yellow tab at the top to send an E-Mail.
Click here to download a copy of this information.