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Quarter of a million meals served

By Betty DeForest

HAYWARD, Calif. -- South Hayward Parish, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the under-privileged communities within Hayward, reached a milestone; more than 250,000 were meals provided to low-income families and individuals in the last year.

This record-breaking number is both a cause for celebration and concern. What many would consider a miracle is testament to the astonishing success of a small organization consisting of four staff members and a handful of volunteers. Despite budget cuts on the already limited financial support from the state, South Hayward Parish has managed to continue to provide the community with high quality foods and produce. The non-profit has been able to sustain its food distribution program with the help and cooperation of the Hayward Unified School District, Alameda Regional Food Bank, and local corporations including Panera Bakery, Costco and Target.

In spite of this success, this accomplishment highlights the essential need for agencies such as South Hayward Parish to serve the growing populations of low-income families. As the organizationís resources and its ability to serve the community are stretched thinly, the number of people without access to the basics, especially food and fresh produce, steadily increases as the economy continues to struggle.

South Hayward Parish continues to serve its local community to the best of its ability. As a community of seven congregations of a variety of different faiths, South Hayward Parish strives to engage people in interfaith dialogue to administer to the needs of all individuals regardless of sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, race or geographic origin. In addition to providing food, South Hayward Parish also provides individuals with free showers and supports a number of other programs including Planned Parenthood, nutrition classes and Hayward Community Action Network to effectively build and maintain a just and nurturing community.

For more information, contact Ralph Moralez, Program Director, at (510) 785-3663.


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