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Volunteers set up boxes for 150 local families who will receive food donations for Thanksgiving. Each box is labeled with the number of family members. Ray Harris, center, chairs the Outreach committee.

By Linda Sandsmark



It’s that time again — time to share with neighboring families who are less fortunate.

Castro Valley PTA Outreach, now in its 23rd year, will pick up barrels filled with donated food from Castro Valley schools this Friday. The food will be distributed to 150 needy families in town during Thanksgiving week.

“This is my favorite committee in the district by far,” says volunteer Jane Brady, who teaches at Stanton Elementary School. “I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I love it because it’s all for the kids in Castro Valley. We’re taking care of our own.”

Donations are still welcome. Canned vegetables and ham, boxed or bagged stuffing, canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce, gravy, and dry pasta, etc. are requested.

Outreach chairman Ray Harris and a large group of volunteers work non-stop during the week prior to Thanksgiving, labeling boxes with the number of members in each recipient family, collecting the food and organizing the donations. This coming Monday and Tuesday additional volunteers will fill the boxes at the Latter-Day Saints church on Seven Hills Road.

After the Thanksgiving food drive, PTA Outreach begins its “Adopt-A-Family” program to bring gifts and food to 150  disadvantaged families for Christmas. Donations of food and toys will be gratefully accepted for that drive as well. All recipient families are local and are referred through a confidential process, mainly through schools and churches.

“If people would still like to donate money, we do have a Taxpayer I.D. number,” says Harris. “If anyone has excess non-perishable food, they can call 889-7743 to arrange for pick-up or to leave it at my house.  They can also call that number to volunteer.”

PTA Outreach thanks the community for its support throughout the years, including Castro Valley schools and District Office, Safeway, the Lions’ Breakfast Club, Castro Valley Rotary, Al’s Food Market, Our Lady of Grace and Transfiguration Catholic Churches, the Mormon Church and the generous citizens of Castro Valley.



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