Joe and Diane Tafoya of Prayer Valley Church’s Food Distribution Center are hoping to feed needy families in Manteca and Lathrop for Thanksgiving.
But in order to do so, they’ll have to rely on the generosity of others.
“Right now, we’re in desperate need of donations,” Joe Tafoya said on Thursday.
A food drive is scheduled for this Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in front of the Prayer Valley Family Worship Church / Food Distribution Center, 119 Sycamore Ave., Manteca.
Needed are turkeys along with items for the fixings, stuffing, cranberry, and desserts such as pie.
The goal is to feed some 100 families, according to Diane Tafoya.
“The need (to feed the hungry) in just Manteca alone is great,” she said. “There are so many that live month to month per paycheck.”
The Prayer Valley Food Distribution Center is a satellite of the Emergency Food Bank and Family Services of Stockton / San Joaquin.
The Tafoyas have been involved in feeding the needy for quite some time. Prior to Prayer Valley, they were involved in the Nineveh Outreach, distributing free food at Southside Park in Manteca.
“(Nineveh) merged with the Prayer Valley,” said Joe Tafoya, who credited Pastor Ron Taylor of Prayer Valley Church for providing that added support.
Outside of the holidays, the Food Distribution is open every second and fourth Monday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “But the food usually doesn’t last that long,” Joe Tafoya said.
His wife, Diane, estimated that some 150 families on the average rely on this service. “We always have so many people to feed,” she added.
That’s indicative of the past few years where many people continue to struggle during a tough economy. The Tafoyas and others point out that the holidays can make this situation especially tough.
“We just want families to forget about their problems and share a nice Thanksgiving meal together,” Diane Tafoya said.
Prayer Valley is a non-denominational church, serving the community since 1993. This ministry began on the streets, feeding, clothing and helping those in need.
Meanwhile, Joe Tafoya indicated that he’ll continue to accept donations after the food drive.
“I’ll personally go anywhere – rain or shine – to pick it up,” he said.
Donations and other information are available at 209-430-4714.