Flintridge Prep Community Backpack Drive Supports Pasadena Thanksgiving Tradition

Front Row: Robin, Martha, Socorro, Diane. Back Row: Tina, Kaytee, Jon, Meghan, Courtney, Ann, Steve

In this Thanksgiving season, Flintridge Prep students merge a community outreach backpack drive with a Pasadena tradition known as “Share a Meal”, organized by the Pasadena Sandwich Company. For four years this tradition of inviting homeless families in Pasadena to share Thanksgiving has been upheld, and the City of Pasadena along with other community-oriented organizations have taken part in the annual event.

Meghan Fink, a co-owner of the Pasadena Sandwich Company, shares that their small family business began when her and her siblings’ “grandparents founded the restaurant in the 1950s”. The restaurant has maintained its community-friendly feel ever since its founding. She continues, “When my grandparents retired, our dad opened the Pasadena Sandwich Company, and since then we continue the proud family tradition of serving fresh food as fast as we can” As a result, PSC has become a well-recognized landmark in Pasadena. More than a family business, the Pasadena Sandwich Company is the location of a Thanksgiving tradition known as “Share a Meal”, supporting Pasadena Families in Transition. Meghan Fink says that back in 1995 was when her dad, Steven Fink, started this “Thanksgiving concept”. She explains, “He believed that no one should be alone on Thanksgiving, so he opened the doors of the Pasadena Sandwich Company, and people came and brought something to contribute to the Thanksgiving meal”. The “Share a Meal” program started when Fink’s father passed away, in 2010. “Firefighter Steven Lawhorn came to us to remind us of what our dad would be doing at Thanksgiving”, recalls Fink. There after, the Fink siblings collaborated with the Pasadena Fire Department and the Pasadena Unified School District to bring back Thanksgiving “Share a Meal” in their dad’s honor, inviting homeless families in Pasadena that would appreciate a place to go, with pride, on Thanksgiving.

For the past few months, Prep students have launched a backpack drive across the greater Pasadena community, with the goal of donating 300 backpacks, filled with school supplies, to Pasadena children in need. Backpacks and school supplies are provided by Sydney Paige® Inc., a Buy 1-Give 1 company supporting education for children in need within the immediate community. The culmination of these Prep students’ efforts in their community backpack drive outreach will happen on Thanksgiving Day at the “Share a Meal” event, held at the Pasadena Sandwich Company. These under-privileged families in the Pasadena area, many of who are supported by the “Pasadena Families in Transition”, will come together to share a Thanksgiving meal, and for the second year, all of the children receive a brand new Sydney Paige® backpack filled with school supplies. To participate in the Community Backpack Drive, go to www.sydneypaigeinc.com/flintprep or visit the Flintridge Bookstore & Coffee House on Foothill Avenue. With each backpack you purchase, one will be matched by Sydney Paige® Inc., and donated to a child in need within the Pasadena area. You also have the option of donating your backpack when you order online.

In specific reference to the “Share a Meal” event happening this November, Fink says the Pasadena Sandwich Company, in conjunction with the Pasadena Families in Transition and Sydney Paige Inc. will offer these families “a fun-filled day in a safe environment where they are served a warm Thanksgiving meal, can participate in arts and crafts, can dress up and take photos in a photobooth, are given Blessing Bags with gift certificates and activities from the community, and every child receives a backpack with school supplies”. She concludes in the weeks leading up to the 4th annual ‘Share a Meal’ that the event “is an extraordinary day and event supported by family, friends, and our very own Pasadena and local communities!”




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