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Hunger doesnt take a holiday after Christmas
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Mike Mallory knows all too well that hunger never takes a holiday.

While the outpouring of support from the community has met Second Harvest Food Bank’s South County holiday need for the 11th straight year, Mallory – who serves as the organization’s executive director – is urging those who still would like to make a difference to continue to donate through at least the end of the year.

The initial need was met through a combination of local private donations and the hard work of organizations like Turkeys R Us, namely Sue Teunissen and Leanne McNabb, which Mallory says are instrumental in being able to meet the goal.

“There are still a few families out there that have to come down and pick everything up, but we’ve had a great turnout so far,” Mallory said. “I really want to thank the community from the bottom of my heart for stepping up and making sure that we were able to do this.”

But while the outpouring of support around Thanksgiving and Christmas is common, Mallory wants to remind people that the need for food isn’t something that’s seasonal – especially with the high rates of unemployment in the valley and the economic uncertainty that has been lingering over working families for the last three years.

By making donations from this point forward, Mallory says that the donations will go to people who still need assistance even after the food drive is over – when all that’s left are the hungry families that still don’t have any place to turn to when it comes to putting food on the table.

“It’s great to see people coming together and supporting others during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it makes us all feel good that we’re doing something to help others during that time,” Mallory said. “But one thing that people seldom realize is the need doesn’t go away after one holiday meal. We helped give them a Christmas dinner, so now what?

“That’s one of the things that we want to let people know about – what it’s like for us after the holidays come and go.”

And it’s not just turkeys or hams that the food bank is accepting at this time. Mallory said that canned goods are always in demand, and donated cash enables the staff to pick up exactly what is needed.

“We couldn’t be more thankful to the people of Manteca for everything that they’ve done for us,” Mallory said. “Now we just want to make sure that we’ll be able to keep doing this to help out those who really need it.”