Stockton, Ca —”I am very thankful for having a warm meal today,” said Juan, a dislocated worker, who became homeless after his former landlord sold the house he rented for more than 8 months. Juan received a Thanksgiving meal at Saint Mary’s Dining Hall.
The following morning while many rushed in hopes to get black Friday deals, members of the Knights of Columbus volunteered at the kitchen of Saint Mary’s Dining Hall. “Since many families are tired or shopping today, we figured we would come out and help,” said Al Espinor, 2nd Year Trustee of the Knights of Columbus, speaking on behalf of the group.
Edward Figueroa, Executive Director at Saint Mary’s Hall expressed his gratitude for the many volunteers that visit to support the agency throughout the year. “We have 45 staff members; however, we need approximately 100 people a day to reach the service level needed in our community.”
“They [Saint Mary’s Dining Hall] need help all year; that’s why we come out once a month, to lend a hand,” highlighted Espinor while serving clients. He explained, “Today its a special day because of Thanksgiving and the initiation of the Holiday season.”
Like Juan 9,000 persons receive breakfast meals in a single month; and demand rises by lunch. In October of this year an estimated 12,000 lunch meals were served and, “We are now serving 10,000 dinners a month,” said Figueroa.
During the Holiday season the organization, “raises approximately one third of its budget,” Figueroa explained, “We are fortunate to live in the central valley; and, we are thankful of the many farmers and businesses willing to help.”
Edward Figueroa encourages community members to visit, the Dining Room has special tours for visitors. “people tend to think ‘its them… its their problem’; we encourage everyone to understand ‘it’s us’ we are all a community.”
To learn more about St. Mary’s Dining Room you may visit http://www.stmarysdiningroom.org or call Rebecca Glissman at (209) 467-0703.