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Christmas food giveaway

Cornerstone distributing baskets Saturday

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POSTED December 18, 2009 3:17 a.m.
Helping Hands at Cornerstone Church in Manteca is expecting to give away nearly 200 Christmas food baskets this Saturday, Dec. 19, from 10 a.m. until noon.

But some families will probably have to do without a turkey in their food baskets. That’s because volunteers were told by the Second Harvest Food Bank in Manteca there won’t be enough turkeys to go around this Christmas.

“We need turkeys even more this year. I got 180-plus food baskets (for the Christmas distribution). But they (Second Harvest) are giving us only 150 turkeys. They are not getting many (donors) this year,” explained Jack Cushman who, with wife Lillian and their son David, his wife Sylvia and their two sons Jonathan, 7, and David, 17, is coordinating the Helping Hands ministry of the church.

Jack Cushman said they will be picking up the turkeys at Second Harvest today. He said if anyone would like to donate frozen turkeys for Helping Hands that day, they should drop them off at the church anytime after 9:30 a.m.

As for the rest of the food items in each food basket, “We’ve done pretty good on everything else. We’ve been picking up canned goods all month long. I just picked up 500 pounds of potatoes today at Second Harvest,” said Jack Cushman who, with wife Lillian, owned and operated the former Pietro’s Italian restaurant in the Cardoza Shopping Center for nearly a quarter of a century until they retired and their son David, wife Sylvia and their two boys picked up where they left off and named the new diner David and Sylvia’s Family Dining.

Helping the Cushman family distribute the Christmas food baskets on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon are volunteer church members. That is, at least, one area that is not currently suffering from any shortage.

“We got all the volunteers we need,” Jack Cushman happily reported.

There is just one aspect of the Christmas food distribution that will be lacking, but not because the church does not want to do it. It’s because “they are doing something else this year; they’re building a new church in Ghana,” he explained.

Besides, Cornerstone Church’s generous involvement with the Helping Hands Ministry does not start or end at the food giveaways during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Church members, in fact, make financial offerings to Helping Hands so that this ministry can continue providing food and clothing assistance every month. The church membership gives the group allowance to work with every month to buy food that is given to those in need in the community.

A family does not need to sign up for the food distribution this Saturday. Just show up and join the line. The distribution will continue until every food basket is given away.

While the Cushmans have been helping coordinate Helping Hands Ministry for 2 years, this outreach program to those in the community who are going through hard economic times has been active for more than a decade.

Anyone who wishes to help this ministry as a volunteer or by making a donation can get more information by calling Pastor Scott Hoag at 825-1220. The church is located at the northeast corner of East Yosemite Avenue and Comconex Road just to the east of Highway 99.
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