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Food headed to wildfire evacuees
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Second Harvest Food Bank Operations Officer Rudy Valencia in front of the box truck he will be driving Saturday with a load of food headed for wildfire evacuees. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

A desire to help for those in need is prompting  Manteca-based Second Harvest Food Bank operations manager Rudy Valencia to volunteer his time to drive a bobtail truck with thousands of pounds of food to fire ravaged Mendocino County where the massive Carr Fire is taking place.

“We’re doing this right – it’s really kinda cool,” Valencia said. 

Valencia and Second Harvest received a request from North Coast Opportunities (NCO) of Ukiah to help restock the homes of evacuees who are returning to their residences finding little eatable foods in their kitchens.

Some 10,000 residents were evacuated because of the fires and power failures.  

He will be leaving about 4 a.m. Saturday to make the four-hour drive through the hilly terrain and deliver his load to a Redwood Valley distribution center – just north of Clear Lake – that has been set up like a supermarket in a small town where residents will be able to go and pick out what they need.  The center is at the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 20. 

Valencia noted that the Cal-Fire website has indicated that 144 new fires have broken out in California in the past week from one-acre blazes to thousands of acres being involved.  There are just two months left in the fire season. Some of the worst fires occurred last year in October when the rain that was expected didn’t materialize. 

He said he took photos of everything the public donated that is being trucked to Mendocino County with much of it being tuna and proteins. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email