Saturday morning brought residents of the Saddle Creek community in Copperopolis together to donate nonperishable food to waiting volunteers of the Copperopolis Community Food Pantry.
“Our community is wonderful,” said food pantry volunteer Karen Kaja. “My husband, Dave, and I thank God every day we live in Copperopolis; it’s such a caring community.”
The pantry averages food assistance to 40 families per month and an additional 20 seniors.
“Those numbers always go up over the holidays,” said Kaja. In recent years the pantry has been known to serve over 100 families during the holidays, with Thanksgiving traditionally being the largest number of families in need.
The Saddle Creek community has participated in the annual holiday food drive for over 10 years.
“My wife and I have participated every year since we have lived here,” said Saddle Creek resident Ken Albertson.
Food and monetary donations were collected from 9 a.m. to noon. At the end of the day, Kaja estimated more than $2,000 was raised along with “an unbelievable amount of dry and canned goods. It was an amazing turnout. We are truly blessed.”
Volunteers Phyllis Richards and Diana Shellooe aided Kaja in separating and organizing donations.
The Copperopolis Comm-unity Food Pantry is at the Lake Tulloch Bible Church with food distribution being held the third Thursday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m.