Posted December 14, 2023

Santa Claus in a jeep during Operation SantaSanta Claus returned to the Salinas Valley skies this year as he flew into the fairgrounds, bringing toys to 1,096 children and meals to 440 local families on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, in King City. Participating families, many of whom serve as farmworkers and laborers feeding the nation, were pre-selected by local school districts based on financial need, and cheered as Santa arrived by military helicopter to distribute Pozole meal kits and toys alongside volunteers.

“There is no better feeling than helping another person, and today it was truly a gift to see the smiling faces and know that we were able to come together to help our community,” said Patrick Garcia, Operations Manager of Cal Water’s King City District. “At Cal Water, we aren’t just a water or pipe company, we are part of our community, and we recognize the importance of caring for the people in the communities we serve.”

Operation Santa Claus event was once again brought to residents by Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez and local water utility Cal Water, and supported by Assemblymember Robert Rivas, Food Bank for Monterey County, the City of King, the California Highway Patrol, King City Police, Greenfield Police, Salinas Valley Fair, and Chevron.

“We thank Santa Claus for, once again, prioritizing the children of Southern Monterey County. With families from Lockwood to Soledad participating this year, the magic we can make together is growing,” said Supervisor Chris Lopez. “With over one hundred elves from the community joining our partners, it shows that this is a community where we look out for one another. I hope these are memories that will last generations.”

Chris Lopez is the Supervisor to the constituents of Monterey County’s Third District, which is home to some of the world’s richest farmland and dedicated workforce of farmers, farmworkers, and laborers that feed the nation. The District stretches from Williams Road in Salinas in the North, to Bryson-Hesperia and Ranchita Canyon in the South. The District is also home to the cities of King City, Greenfield, Soledad, Gonzales, and Salinas, as well as the communities of Bryson-Hesperia, San Ardo, San Lucas, Parkfield, Ranchita Canyon, Jolon, Bradley, Lockwood, Pine Canyon, Arroyo Seco, Chualar, and others.