San Diego County Unified School District

12/10/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/09/2019 20:08

Scripps Ranch JROTC cadets break county record with massive food drive

When it comes to community service, these students more than live up to the challenge of the U.S. Air Force slogan, 'Aim High.'

In this year's countywide donation drive for the San Diego Food Bank, the cadets of Scripps Ranch High School's Air Force JROTC program not only aimed high, but soared to new heights by hauling in a record-setting 29,848 pounds of food donations.

29,848 pounds - that's more than the weight of an 84-passenger school bus, or roughly 10 Toyota Priuses.

Breaking records isn't new to Scripps Ranch, where the JROTC cadets organize and lead their school's donation effort annually.

'This is not only the most ever produced by Scripps Ranch High School, but it broke our own 2018 San Diego County record of 22,279 pounds,' said Colonel Dennis Tucker, the program's Senior Aerospace Science Instructor. 'It is amazing to think of the hundreds of families that will have food on the table this year as a result of this massive effort for the San Diego Food Bank.'

For their part, the students have remained humble about the success of this year's initiative.

'Seeing the results of the canned food drive each year makes me feel incredibly thankful for the effort and generosity of those who contribute, because I know this food will help out so many people in need,' said senior Matthew Custodio, who holds the rank of Cadet Colonel and serves as the program's Group Commander.

All 14-plus tons of the donated food was picked up Friday by the San Diego Food Bank, where it will be immediately put to good use. The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and North County Food Bank feed 350,000 people each month in partnership with 500 nonprofit community partners.

'I am thankful to be part of this Scripps Ranch High School family,' said Col. Tucker. 'The generosity shown by the students and staff is going to make a difference in many people's lives.'

To learn more about the award-winning Air Force JROTC program st Scripps Ranch High, see

For more information on the San Diego Food Bank and how to support, go to