Wanted: Non-perishable foods for the Kids Cupboard Emergency Food Pantry.
That’s part of Ray of Hope, the local children’s crisis non-profit organization under the direction of Executive Director Laura Vieira-Saunders.
A donation booth for the cause will be available at this weekend’s 23rd annual Crossroads Manteca Street Faire that takes place in downtown Manteca Saturday and Sunday. The street fair is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. The Manteca Chamber of Commerce event takes place in the triangle formed by the railroad tracks, Main Street and Center Street. It typically attracts between 30,000 and 40,000 people over two days.
The Manteca Police Department’s K-9 Unit will be spearheading the food collection for the Kids Cupboard with added help coming from the Manteca Raiders Youth Football & Cheer Organization, according to Vieira-Saunders.
“The Kids Cupboard has been a much-needed addition to our programs, assisting Babies in Crisis, Students in Need, and more,” she said.
Children are referred to Ray of Hope by agencies such as Child Protective Services and the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County.
“One of the biggest needs we see is food insecurity,” Vieira-Saunders said, noting the lack of nutrition.”There’s a lot to consider when helping the kids such as health -- if the child is diabetic, we must assure we can give them food that will not be counterproductive to their sugar and insulin levels.”
Every situation is different.
Those living in a hotel, she added, may not have the cooling facilities to accommodate foods that have to be microwaved.
They may lack the means to cook up a box of macaroni and cheese.
“We mostly need foods that they can eat without cooking,” said Vieira-Saunders.
Ray of Hope works to help out children overcome tough circumstances by providing blankets along with the proper hygiene, clothing, shoes, and school supplies.
For more information, call Ray of Hope at 209.883.6411 or 209.597.0574.