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Del Webb residents display can-do attitude
Volunteer and Del Webb resident Ann King, left, shares a laugh at her table during Wednesday’s appreciation dinner for volunteers at Del Webb at Woodbridge who help at the Second Harvest Food Bank. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Second Harvest Food Bank Executive Director Mike Mallory knows that there would be a whole lot of families going hungry in Manteca if it weren’t for a large contingency of Del Webb volunteers.

And Wednesday night, staff members from the non-profit and board members teamed up to serve the massive group of volunteers a thank you dinner in the senior-oriented community’s main recreation building. It was the second year in a row that the event was held.

Staffer Alanna Robins estimated that there are somewhere between 75 and 100 volunteers from Del Webb – a sharp increase from last year – and noted the importance of the jobs that they do.

“We completely rely on volunteers, and we couldn’t do half of what we do if it weren’t for these people donating their time to assist in feeding families that don’t have enough to eat,” Robins said. “The Woodbridge community has been instrumental in our ability to function, and the number of volunteers we’re getting is going up.”

Mallory echoed Robins’ statement about the crucial roles that volunteers play in the operation.

“If it weren’t for this group of volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to function,” Mallory said. “Without them we’d miss out on feeding so many people here in San Joaquin County, and all of that food that would normally be delivered to them would be sent off to another location.

“Hunger never takes a holiday, and these volunteers realize that. We’re more than grateful for their dedicated service and want people to know how important the jobs that they do are for the day-to-day operation.”

The roles that volunteers fill include everything from running the annual turkey drive during the Thanksgiving season to placing labels on cans that were either stripped off or lost to help families who receive food packages identify the contents of the silver cans.

And some of the volunteers are very good at what they do.

“We had a lady that put on 10,000 labels in a single day,” Mallory said. “If it were the staff that had to do that, with everything else that we have going on, that would take us a week. It blew me away to see that.

“Not a lot of people have money that they’re able to donate, but in this case they do have time, and that’s been just as important for us to maintain our operation.”

Board member Chuck Crutchfield – who is legendary in Manteca for his extensive work with non-profits – said he was initially caught off guard when he saw how much fun the volunteers were having when working out in the sweltering warehouse.

“It was almost like they were having a party out there,” Crutchfield said with a laugh. “They enjoy it, and that’s what keeps them coming back and recruiting new volunteers to help with the effort.”

Additional volunteers are always being sought, and can choose the amount of hours that they’re able to put in during a given week. For more information on the volunteer program, contact Robins at 239-2091, or e-mail her at The food bank is located at 704 Industrial Park Drive, and additional information can be found at