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Snack bags for the homeless

Richard Acuna and Gail Klein, active participants in the Our Lady of the Assumption’s St. Vincent de Paul Society, are starting a new ministry at the Claremont private school “to provide snack bags to homeless persons in our area,” according to OLA’s website.

The duo are also volunteers at Holy Name of Mary’s food pantry near La Verne/San Dimas and it was there that Klein and Acuna noted many homeless persons from Claremont/North Pomona coming for assistance at the neighboring city’s food pantry.

Those making the long journey to La Verne/San Dimas are what prompted Acuna and Klein to begin the new giving ministry, providing snack bags for homeless they encountered on the street around OLA’s district. As of press time, the duo is said to be averaging about ten bags a week.

“Ten food bags a week is a small gesture, but it answers Jesus’s request that we take care of the poor,” Klein said in a statement. “And no one is poorer than the homeless who are often stranded due to circumstances beyond their control.”

To aid in Acuna and Klein’s efforts, OLA is starting a food and essentials drive to collect items needed to assemble said bags. Residents can bring essentials to the parish office, located at 435 N Berkeley Ave., where a designated cart for collection is outside the office door.

Items include nutritional supplement drinks, cup(s) of noodles, cans of soup or beef ravioli (with pull-top lid), oatmeal (single serving packages) and bottled water. Disposable utensils, plates, cups, napkins and bowls will also be accepted. Items can be purchased individually or in bulk from commercial grocers.

Residents can also help cover the cost of the bags, which are about $10 to $12 each. If aiding by check, checks should be made payable to “OLA” with a memo for “homeless snack bags.”

For more information, visit https://www.olaclaremont.org. OLA can also be reached at (909) 626-3596.

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