“Operation Cratchit” Christmas Food Drive FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions

Pod Tom McGuire

What is “Operation Cratchit”?

An annual canned food drive to benefit Stanford Settlement that began over 50 years ago.

All help is appreciated to reach the goal—feeding 600+ households from the North Sacramento and Gardenland neighborhoods who have registered with the Stanford Settlement’s Operation Cratchit.

What is needed?

  • Canned food (fruits, vegetables, soups, etc) Many grocery stores sell these in packs of 8-12, prepackaged in cardboard or shrink-wrap—very effective. 
  • We officially discourage glass containers
  • No home-canned items (Jams, jellies, pickles, relish, etc.)
  • No bags of oranges, apples, or fresh fruit
  • Currently, please discourage 25#, 50#, 100# bags of rice and beans. We have plenty.  (While still acceptable—the goal is to deliver a trailer containing a full menu of food, not just rice). 
  • Cash donations are accepted and encouraged.
  • Checks made out to Jesuit HS are always welcome.  These funds go to round out the larder and purchase turkeys, hams, and roasts.

What stories can be told?

Ask an alum, they have plenty, the following are only a sample.  

  • In the early 80’s, students brought in so much food that the trailer was full. McLaughlin Drayage, a J-High family who donated the unit, brought out a second trailer to handle the excess that was piled on the loading dock.
  • In the mid-90’s a much bigger trailer was so full the front skids sank through the asphalt—a special tow truck was dispatched to extract the trailer.  This happened again in 2017.
  • On numerous occasions, students have organized very effective collection efforts in their neighborhoods. They developed a simple leaflet explaining the Food Drive, set a pickup date, attached it to a brown paper bag and left it on the porch of houses. On the appointed evening the students returned and collected the filled bags which many folks generously filled and left for them. 
  • Ask Dave Zielke how he punned one of his classes for an entire period and collected several hundred dollars in the process.  

How did we do in 2019?

The 2019 Jesuit High School Food Drive, Operation Cratchit, is complete. Once again, the Jesuit High School students (and faculty) showed tremendous generous spirit and loaded the trailer with non-perishable food items. With a last-minute flurry of donations, our students collected over 50,000lbs of food and more than $1,500.00 that was donated to the Stanford Settlement which will be used to help buy perishable food for their community. 

On the last Friday (December 13, 2019), over 40 students and 10 faculty members from Jesuit volunteered to help unload the trailer at Stanford Settlement. 3 hours later the trailer was unloaded and all the food was stacked in the warehouse. The boys worked hard with an enthusiasm that filled Stanford Settlement with positive energy and Christmas spirit.