PLEASANT HILL, Calif. (cccoe.k12.ca.us) - Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey announced White Pony Express (WPE) as the Contra Costa County Education Champion for February 2023. The nonprofit organization was recognized at the Feb. 22, 2023, Contra Costa County Board of Education meeting.
WPE became a valuable partner to Golden Gate Principal Doug Corbin after he noticed a substantial increase in food assistance inquiries among his students and families at the Brentwood, Pittsburg, and Richmond campuses. After seeing WPE vans on the roadway, Corbin reached out to the nonprofit for help.
“The partnership between White Pony Express and Golden Gate has been nothing short of amazing,” Corbin said. “White Pony Express is helping Golden Gate in our efforts to be more responsive to the needs of the communities we serve. We are appreciative of the quality of the food and other resources provided by White Pony. White Pony Express is a great community resource and Golden Gate is happy that our partnership is beneficial for both organizations.”
WPE, a volunteer-based organization in Contra Costa County, rescues surplus food from restaurants and grocery stores to feed those in need throughout the county. A call for help forged a relationship that now provides a weekly food delivery service to each of Golden Gate’s campuses – bringing fresh fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, snacks, and dozens of meals from local establishments such as Starbucks, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes to students and families in need.
“At WPE, we know there is enough fresh, healthy food to go around; you just need to connect the bounty to the need,” White Pony Express Executive Director Eve Birge said. “That’s what we’re here for. We are privileged to be part of Principal Corbin and the entire teams’ earnest efforts to provide for the remarkable students in their care and we look forward to deepening our partnership in coming months and years.”
The three Golden Gate campuses in Brentwood, Pittsburg and Richmond and Marchus School are among the 13 community school pantries in Contra Costa County run by White Pony Express. In addition, the organization provides food to help stock kitchens for teaching cooking & nutrition to students at culinary arts programs at three schools in the county and provides snacks for children at two school-related programs.
About Contra Costa County Office of Education
One of 58 counties in California, Contra Costa County has the 9th largest public-school student population in the state (approximately 158,401 students). Officially established in 1932, the CCCOE has a long history of providing direct services to some of our county's most vulnerable students, including young people who are incarcerated, homeless, or in foster care, as well as students who have severe physical or emotional challenges.
CCCOE also provides support services to schools and school districts in Contra Costa County; services that can be handled most effectively and economically on a regional basis rather than by each of the county's 285 schools or 18 school districts. These services range from budget approval and fiscal support to technology infrastructure, communication support, and high-level professional development opportunities for educators. CCCOE maintains a website at www.cocoschools.org.