Joanna of Pittsburg said she was ready to cry from happiness when she received a free turkey at SVdP.

Thanks to an extremely generous $15,000 grant from the Bay Area News Group, St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County is able to help families in the County celebrate the holidays this year. As part of their Share the Spirit Program, the Bay Area News Group recognizes a small number of nonprofit organizations each year with grants that help families in need celebrate the holidays, because the rising cost of food and fuel should not prevent a child from enjoying Thanksgiving or Christmas. This year, SVdP has been able to provide $75 food cards, as well as plenty of delicious, healthy food from SVdP’s Family Resource Center in Pittsburg.

“This means so much to me,” Yvonne of Pittsburg said. “What this means is food for my family, and a happy holiday for my children. I’m ready to cry I’m so grateful, thank you.”

SVdP purchased numerous gift cards for WinCo Supermarkets, a grocery store in eastern Contra Costa County. SVdP “Vincentian,” volunteers and volunteers from the Knights of Columbus at St. Ignatius Church-Antioch, also helped prepare bags of food from the food pantry at the St. Vincent de Paul Family Resource Center. These bags of food were handed out to families in need alongside the WinCo gift cards, ensuring they could truly put something special on the table for the holidays.

Alonzo of Antioch said, “My niece told me about this program after she signed up, and this really does just mean the most to me. Thanks to this I’m going to be able to put something extra on the table. It’s going to be a good holiday this year.”

SVdP gives out gift cards to families in need at Thanksgiving and in mid-December before Christmas. One hundred percent of the Share the Spirit grant was used to feed individuals and families in need. SVdP received a number of donated frozen turkeys this year, which were handed out to those in need alongside the WinCo gift cards. The turkeys were a surprise, but were extremely appreciated by our neighbors in need.

“Just the sight of that turkey is enough to make me tear up,” Joana of Baypoint said. “This is such a gift, thank you so much for everything you do for the community.”

“Since 1983, the East Bay Times has been publishing stories about the hopes and desires of some of the least fortunate among us,” East Bay Times Publisher Sharon Ryan writes. “Share the Spirit is one of the most meaningful projects we do each year and we’ grateful that the stories have encouraged you to support so many individuals, families, and groups coping with significant challenges. With your help, our community will become an even better place.”