This last Friday’s 3 p.m. Calvary Church gifted dinners served another 2,000 dinners from that church and from the restaurants that put them together.
Pastor Brett Dood said the total dinners offered to residents to date has equaled some 5,000. His plan was not only too feed those in need but also to put the restaurant employees to work preparing them.
Once again church volunteers handed out the some 500 dinners with each serving four meals apiece from La Mexicana de Ripon, Esmeralda's, Burgess Bakery, Happy Indian Kitchen and The Vine House restaurants.
Owner of La Mexicana de Ripon, Teresa Guzman, said it was a staff effort for her employees in preparing Mediterranean Chicken with Lemon Orzo along with Caesar Salads. Esmeralda's Mexican Restaurant offered chicken fajitas, rice and beans. It was the second week for The Vine House with a Bacon Wrap Meatloaf dinner. Happy Indian Kitchen prepared a Buttered Chicken plate.
While the numbers of cars were similar to the week before, a traffic pattern had been set up that saw vehicles mush more spread out over the hour-long event. A Manteca Police motorcycle officer, David Bright, was seen directing traffic at the intersection of Vera Avenue and Second Street. Bright had volunteered to take part in the dinner give-away with Ripon officers all out on calls at the time except for Ripon Sgt. Stephen Meece who oversaw the event.
Walk-up dinners were also available with a number of people taking advantage of the bagged dinners that came from a refrigerated truck parked in the center of the church parking lot.