Bagfuls of blessings

David Trujillo called it just another way to receive the good Lord’s blessings. Sheila Jaques will be feeding two-to-six, and was appreciative of any help she could get, given that she relocated from New Orleans and food prices are much higher here. It was just last month that Mary Ricci and son, Benny, 3, were homeless, so this give-away was especially meaningful for her, as it was for all those who waited patiently for filled grocery bags.

Manna House handed out traditional holiday fare this week for 250 families, who signed up for the annual Thanksgiving give-away. Each received a 3-5 pound roasting chicken, instant mashed potatoes, Stove Top stuffing and canned green beans. Raley’s and Vons donated breads and pastries, and Grocery Outlet Bargain Market sold the other items to Manna House at cost.

Recipients were grateful for the help.

“We would have had nothing this year,” Veronica Larson said. “I’m temporarily on disability, and there just weren’t enough food stamps to last through the month.” She will be preparing a holiday meal for four.

Passing it forward

Manna House depends on generous community support to pass blessings and comfort on to those struggling to make ends meet.

Last Friday, both Sunrise and Noon Rotary club members delivered food items to help fill the pantry. Also, Rotary club presidents Jackie Mallouf and Bob Brosi handed Manna House Director Tom Nicolulis a check for $2,000.

“Our obligation to Manna House has never been taken lightly,” Mallouf said. “It’s one of the joys of being a member of the service club.”

The Yosemite High School Interact Club collected food products that were also donated.

“Providing food to Manna House gives us a better understanding of the needy in our community,” YHS senior and Interact Club member Rose Curley said, “and it allows us to provide support for those less fortunate.”

“The efforts and flavor of love from the Rotary clubs and YHS students is just over the top,” Nicolulis said of the donations.

“This is a time to give thanks,” Bruce Bartlett, Manna House food manager added, “especially given what’s happening around the world ... we need to give thanks that we’re American citizens, that we live in such a land of bounty, for what we have, and for our families.”

Christmas sign-ups

Christmas sign-ups, which will end at 350, will take place Dec. 1-16, with the giveaway 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Dec. 18. The Manna House clothing department will be closed Dec. 14 so that volunteers can help Santa and his elves set up the toys. The clothing department will reopen Jan. 4.

Details: (559) 683-6262.

Volunteers needed

Help raise funds for Manna House by ringing a bell outside Raley’s or Vons this holiday season. To volunteer, Ron Dimoree, (559) 642-4612.