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Good Samaritan picks up ½ of grocery tab
Kim Marie posted her cartful of groceries to help feed needy youngsters using the Ray of Hope services, and was surprised when a stranger helped pay for half of the donation at the checkout line.

Kim Marie is among those who takes time from her schedule to help out Ray of Hope.

For example, she'll do some heavy-duty shopping for food items to help replenish the pantry for the local non-profit Children's Services.

Marie made such a trip to the Manteca Grocery Outlet, purchasing two carts full of items ranging from boxes of breakfast cereals to healthy snack options earlier this week.

She was stunned by a random act of kindness at the checkout line.

"This lady came up and paid for half my basket," Marie said via social media, "I literally almost cried in the store."

Ray of Hope Executive Director Laura Vieira-Saunders was equally thankful.

"I was ecstatic," she said Wednesday. "We were getting pretty low on food — so the timing was perfect."

Vieira-Saunders added that the demand for the food is being outnumbered by the demand given the tough times.

"With unemployment benefits being cut, we're drained. We have single moms with not enough money to pay the rent much less feed her kids. Those are the people we're helping. So this donation is huge," she said.

Ray of Hope, according to its mission statement, is about meeting "the basic human needs of children" and that "every child deserves a childhood free of hunger, fear and worry."

The Children's Crisis and Resource Services provides just that in meeting those needs despite homelessness, poverty or crisis circumstances.

Ray of Hope will continue to accept no-contact donations —- that's due to the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping safe using the services safe —- at the bottom of the stairwell of the Manteca office located at 113 N. Yosemite Ave., from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

For more information, call 209.597.0574 or e-mail