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Ray of Hope coming up short in drive seeking food for kids

Ray of Hope’s Christmas Guardian Angel Program is in full swing with local businesses and community having already stepped up for the holidays.

“It’s been great,” said Vieira-Saunders on Monday.

She’s the executive director of the Ray of Hope Children’s Crisis and Resource Services, 113 W Yosemite Ave., Manteca.

“People have really stepped up,” Vieira-Saunders said. “But there are still those who need to be fed on a regular basis.”

The Kids Cupboard Food Pantry, in particular, was hit hard recently and is need of being replenished. Donations are being sought.

“The need for food is large. Our goal is to fill our Food Pantry (in order) to meet the wishes of the kids with the joy of Christmas,” Vieira-Saunders added.

The Kids Cupboard Food Pantry consists of those youngsters who are referral from the county programs and approved agencies.

“We don’t take walk-ins,” said Vieira-Saunders. “This is a very strict program – the needs (of the children) are double verified yet we are still struggling to keep food on the shelves right now because of the homeless crisis.”

She noted that scrolls from the Guardian Angel Program were all scooped up by places such as Chit Chat, South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Manteca Fire District, Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy and San Joaquin General Hospital, coupled with local individuals.

Besides food donations, Ray of Hope is look for hygiene products and diapers.

“These things are gold to our organization. We ask that people will consider this when giving this holiday season,” Vieira-Saunders said.

For more information, call 209.597.0574 or 209.883.6411.