St. Matthew’s School Fourth Graders Raise $12,000

The fourth-grade class at St. Matthew’s School raised $12,000 for the Westside Food Bank 5K Hunger Walk in Santa Monica on Oct. 23. More than $110,000 was raised for the 26th annual event.

The 30 students from St. Matthew’s were recognized for raising the most money of any of the participating groups.

“We try not to make it a competition in the kids’ eyes so that they feel proud of their efforts no matter the total,” said teachers Rachel Gaunt and Danielle Quinto, who noted that every dollar raised provides four meals. Bottom line: the students helped donate 49,000 meals.

St. Matthew’s fourth graders raised $12,000 for the Westside Food Bank.
St. Matthew’s fourth graders raised $12,000 for the Westside Food Bank.

St. Matthew’s student Braylon Perez was acknowledged as the highest individual fundraiser with $1,587.

Fourth-grader Olivia Vinciquerra and her Palisades family bought the winning raffle ticket for a Staycation package that includes a stay donated by the Fairmont Bungalows in Santa Monica.

Immediately following the walk, students and families gathered at Perry’s on the Beach for a barbecue to celebrate the success of the event.

The Westside Food Bank is one of St. Matthew’s longtime outreach partners. The nonprofit services more than 70 local organizations, and half the people they serve are children.

“Thank you again to all of the fourth graders, parents, teachers, families and everyone else from St. Matt’s that helped make this event such a success!” said Westside Food Bank development associate Michael Girsback. “None of this would have been possible without your dedication and support.”

The Food Bank was founded in 1981 to provide food to social-services agencies on the Westside of Los Angeles County. Girsback said that food from the bank enables low-income people to stay in their homes because it means they don’t have to choose between paying for rent or food when they can’t afford both.

Food Bank acquires food through purchases, donations and food recovery from bakeries, caterers and food suppliers.

To donate, visit or call (310) 828-6016.

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