Sandwich Bag Collection Campaign Zips it up for Hungry Preschoolers

CAI Executive Director Stephanie Ferrante and Kids’ Meals Development Director Beth Harp.

CAI Executive Director Stephanie Ferrante and Kids’ Meals Development Director Beth Harp.

The holidays are always a time for giving, and the usual needs such as toys, clothes, food and money are generously covered by many. One group decided to think outside of the box and found an unusual way to give back.

In Harris County, there is an estimated poverty rate of 16.4 percent for individuals, but children under five are disproportionately affected by a poverty rate with over 88,740 pre-school children living in food insecure homes. Kids’ Meals is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing free meals to these children in need. In December, representatives from the Community Association Institute (CAI) collected and donated over 100,000 sandwich bags for hungry preschoolers. “We go through 2,500 sandwich bags a day! When school is out, we feed the siblings in the home as well. These supplies are our first ones to run out. This is a vital and important way to help our program in big way, and we thank the CAI members in Fort Bend and Greater Houston area for their support. This is the largest donation of this kind we have received and we are so very grateful,” stated Cristina Vetrano, Kids’ Meals Executive Director.

The Greater Houston Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) is a membership-based organization that includes community association volunteers, professional community managers and business partners who provide services to community associations. It provides education and networking opportunities to members in order to maintain and improve the quality of life in Houston area neighborhoods. Recently, CAI and its membership base of over 45 Houston area community management companies held a donation drive to collect sealable sandwich sized bags for the Kids’ Meal program. Over 45 management companies across Houston served as a collection center to drop off sandwich bags that often are not considered as a need.

“Yearly, our community management members typically get involved in some kind of charitable event, such as clothing and food drives, volunteering to assist less fortunate neighborhoods and more. This year, we wanted to search out a need that was not being serviced and got an overwhelming response from our members with the sandwich bag drive for Kids’ Meals. Our mission is always to improve and maintain the quality and value of Houston neighborhoods,” stated Stephanie Ferrante, CAI Executive Director.

For more information, contact Susan Steely at 832-878-1219 or visit

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