Fresh from helping needing families for this past Thanksgiving, the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Manteca is gearing up to do likewise once again.
The Food Pantry / Clothes Closet at St. Anthony’s of Padua Catholic Church is in the process of putting together 300 food baskets for Christmas. Included will be turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and fruit.
For Sharon Filippi and others, this process for the holidays not to mention the year-round efforts in helping those in need is a clockwork operation filled with plenty compassion and caring.
“We follow in the footsteps of great volunteers who came before us,” said Filllipi, who is president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Her husband, Dana, is vice president.
They’re also among the 45 to 55 volunteers who help families and individuals residing in Manteca, Lathrop and French Camp. In order to be eligible for assistance from this non-profit organization requires a photo ID, proof of address and proof of family income.
According to Sharon Filippi, St. Vincent de Paul at Manteca relies on generosity of others and support of many.
The parishioners at St. Anthony’s, for example, help the cause via the “second collection of the fifth Sunday masses,” she said.
Community members and local businesses also make private donations.
For Christmas, Filippi noted that Raley’s and the Second Harvest Food Bank are among the major contributors to the food baskets – Raley’s and Save Mart also provide discounted bread and pastries for the needy on a regular basis.
Union Road Commons made possible the collection blankets and towels.
The U.S. Post Office Union Workers help out with their annual Mother’s Day Food Drive in May.
St. Vincent De Paul used to handle the Giving Tree during the holidays. “We have others groups who have taken over,” Filippi said.
The Women’s Club of St. Anthony’s is again hosting the Giving Tree.
A row of refrigerators in between a couple freezers consisting of food items can be found on one side of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at 525 E. North St. The other side of the facility is the Clothes Closet, with Terry and Greg Brown among those who assort and organize the donated items consisting of gently used clothes and shoes. St. Vincent de Paul has enough resources to purchase new shoes for children.
The Food Pantry also has rows of canned goods and other non-perishable food items in stock.
As always, St. Vincent de Paul accepts donations of clothes (must be clean and gently used) and food year round in their effort to help struggling families in the community.
For information, e-mail SVdPSocietyManteca85@gmail.com or call 209/623.8099.