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Thursday, 01 November 2012 09:06
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Castro Valley Outreach organizer Ray Harris with a few of the boxes that will be filled with food, four-boxes-each for some 150 local families this Thanksgiving. (He could use some help to fill those boxes.)

 

 

 

By Robert Souza

CASTRO VALLEY FORUM

 

 

 

 

“This is the first time in 21 years that we have had a waiting list for food,” Ray Harris said last week as he readied a garage full of boxes that will be bringing Thanksgiving cheer to hundreds through his Castro Valley Outreach program this year.

“I have never seen it this bad. It is a tough time because a lot of people are out of work,” explained Harris, who said some people are even mentioning on their applications for help that they would appreciated any employment leads.

At least 150 families will be able to enjoy a home-cooked feast next month in the annual holiday food drive Harris began out of his home years ago.

After seeing his own kids collect food for those in need at Castro Valley schools in 1991, he felt the need to lend a hand in town was broader than a few donated boxes. And so, Castro Valley Outreach was born. It has grown each year as the need has grown.

Harris’ organization also has a “gift tree” program where community members can donate gifts that will be distributed to families in need during the Christmas season.

Harris said food donations can be brought to any school in Castro Valley; checks of any amount are also appreciated. And he is recruiting volunteers to help pack boxes as “T-Day” nears. He hopes to fill the increasing need by adding another 10 families to his list for the season.

If you can help or would like more information, call Ray Harris at 510-889-7743.

 

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