Bristol Borough's Selecto Supermarket, longtime food staple in Latino community, supports Give A Christmas - Bucks County Courier Times

For the owners of Selecto Supermarkets in Bristol Borough, the market is more than a longtime staple for the Latino community; they also pride themselves on supporting those in need at

every opportunity.

To that end, Edwin Herrera, manager of the Selecto Supermarket at 320 Pond St., said his market is again supporting the long-running Give A Christmas fundraiser.

During the holiday season, the Bucks County Courier Times and the Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis Club partner to collect and distribute monetary donations to assist struggling local families.

The 2022 holiday season marks the 65th year of the Give A Christmas fund. Over the years, Courier Times readers have contributed more than $5.2 million to help neighbors in need purchase a gift for a child or food for a holiday meal.

Last year, 7,773 donors contributed a total of $133,523. Those donations provided 3,263 vouchers to 2,075 families. This year the fund has a goal of $132,000, and has raised $12,427 through Nov. 22.

Selecto is one of a handful of retailers where families can use a gift card provided by Give A Christmas to ease expenses at the holidays. The program also gives out cards to Acme, Burlington stores, Barnes & Noble and Redner's Markets.

Give A Christmas:Help Give A Christmas to neighbors in need

Store manager Edwin Herrera fields questions in his office at Selecto Supermarket in Bristol on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022.

"We are always happy to participate in the Kiwanis program, especially around the holidays, because we know at this time of year that people really need it," Herrera said. "It's always a good thing. I know people that come in here, some frequent shoppers, and they are always happy to have it, even if it is 'only' $25, it's still $25 they didn't have to spend."

This year, vouchers are primarily $35.

Lilian Ramos of Bensalem shops at Selecto Supermarket in Bristol on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Ramos drives to Bristol monthly to shop Hispanic brands Selecto offers that are not available in other grocery stores, like Goya.

Levittown-Bristol Kiwanis spokeswoman Mary Herman confirmed Selecto's involvement, noting its owners have participated since 2020.

Herrera runs the day-to-day operation of the store, which is owned by his father, two uncles and a brother-in-law. This is his family's second Selecto Supermarket — it also operates a store in Trenton — and it previously operated a store in Passaic, New Jersey.

Selecto does its best to serve Bristol Borough's Latino community, which accounts for roughly 13% of the borough's population, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Selecto's importance to the community shined during the pandemic, as more families were home which lead to more home-cooked meals. Selecto's penchant for stocking diverse foods made it a draw throughout the borough and Lower Bucks.

According to the Urban Institute, about 27% of Latino and Black households in America reported experiencing food insecurity due to COVID. Nationwide, 10.9% of the population is food insecure, meaning that these populations are disproportionately impacted.

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