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Bus drivers deliver food to help struggling families during holidays

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Bus drivers deliver food to help struggling families during holidays

Mike Mallory, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, receives donations of holiday goods from Manteca Transit drivers Dee Michael, Becky Gracier, Christina Walraven and Mack Campbell collected during Sat...

VINCE REMBULAT/The Bulletin


POSTED December 16, 2008 10:46 p.m.
Mike Mallory, Second Harvest Food Bank’s chief executive officer, has been overwhelmed by the recent holiday donations.
With hopes of feeding and assisting well over 1,300 families in San Joaquin County for Christmas, the local non-profit organization received a boost Monday from the Manteca Transit and Manteca Unified bus drivers.
“These are people who, for the past two weekends, volunteered their time to help out,” Mallory said of the latter. “(Because of budget cuts) some of them may not have jobs come next year.”
These MUSD classified employees held their first-ever food and toy drive better known as “Stuff the Bus For Kids Sake” benefiting the district’s Health Services and the food bank.
“We hope to make this an annual event,” said bus driver Debbie Herrera.
Those donating dropped off their items at Golden Valley School in Weston Ranch and Lincoln School on Dec. 6.
This past weekend, bus drivers collected goods at both Lathrop Elementary and August Knodt.
Ray of Hope will receive the toys while the donation to Second Harvest was about 1,300 pounds or enough to fill nearly three bins.
According to Dee Michael, general manager of MV Transportation — the City of Manteca contracts the bus services — a food drive was held last Saturday in front of Wal-Mart.
“We had a pretty good turnout,” she said.
Michael was initially concerned about the recent economic downturn possibly hindering the food drive.
“For one day (of collecting goods), they did an awesome job,” Mallory said.
All told, Manteca Transit managed to gather 713 pounds of goods for Second Harvest.
Mallory had earlier concerns, particularly with donations down by about 30 percent and demands up by 30 percent.
Some of his donors of a year ago, in fact, are among those in need this year of a Christmas meal.
Donations can be dropped off at the Second Harvest Food Bank, 704 E. Industrial Park Drive, Manteca.
For more information, call 239-2091.
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