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Ray of Hope hit hard by pandemic
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Ray of Hope is especially being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For starters, the local non-profit apparently lost out on its food drive campaign at the Manteca Police K9 Association Booth with the cancellation of the Manteca Street Fair.

Non-perishable items were and are still needed – breakfast bars, juice, soup, tuna, instant potatoes, macaroni and cheese boxes, rice, beans, canned pasta sauce, oatmeal and canned fruits and vegetables – to go along with diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, hygiene products and gently used clothing for the Babies in Crisis Program.

The latter is part of the Diapers & More Drive, which kicked off last month with the goal to fill the Babies Corner in our Kids Cupboard, according to Ray of Hope Executive Director Laura Vieira-Saunders.

Wipes, hygiene products, beans and rice are increasingly tough to collect for these Ray of Hope programs given that the many stores are being cleared out by the demand of such items.

“Now we’re looking at having a whole new (type of) clientele,” she said.

By that, Vieira-Saunders is referring to those who face losing their jobs due to shutdowns of certain businesses.

“We’re talking about people who will be going on unemployment and not having enough money to feed their children,” she said.

Vieira-Saunders also had a few select seniors come to Ray of Hope, requesting food during these though times. “We can’t turn anyone away,” she noted.

Youngsters, meanwhile, are referred to Ray of Hope via CPS, local shelters, and law enforcement agencies. But with local schools currently on shutdown until further notice, Vieira-Saunders is looking for ways to provide the nutritious meals that they would normally get at their school site during this time of year.

The office is located at 113 W. Yosemite Ave. Donations, however, should be dropped off of the downtown facility in order to maintain social distancing.

For more information or to make a donation, call 209.883.6411 or 209.597.0574.