Shirl Mendonca: A time for sharing with others |

Shirl Mendonca: A time for sharing with others

In Nevada County, there is so much to be thankful for, including the wonderful people, many outstanding outdoor and cultural activities, the river and foothills, and four beautiful seasons.

As we are surrounded by abundance, so this also is a special time to share with others.

One group that is gearing up for Thanksgiving is Interfaith Food Ministries. More than 400 volunteers ensure that every needy family in our area has food to eat year-round. More than 75 of these volunteers are from LWW, and many have been volunteering one or more times a week for more than 10 years.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, volunteers bag the food staples. Clients are assigned Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays as their weekly “pick-up” day, when volunteers provide personal help with individual food choices.

Backing this up is a team of volunteer drivers making daily pick-ups of perishables, bread and so on from supermarkets and other donors from as far away as Sacramento.

Operating since 1987, their goal is that “no one in Nevada County need ever go to bed hungry.”

Through Operation Turkey, the IFM provides complete Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey dinners for 450 to 500 needy families. Supported entirely with public donations, your tax-deductible $10 donation will feed one of these families and ease their burden. Checks can be mailed to IFM, P.O. Box 11174, Grass Valley, CA 95945.

Joe Sliakis, of LWW, has been helping IFM for more than 19 years. He says the smiles and heartfelt gratitude of the clients make it all worthwhile.

Joe handles a lot of the purchasing for IFM. He recounted how Raley’s, Safeway, Save-Mart and SPD generously help throughout the year, so when he has turkeys to buy for Operation Turkey, he tries to give back to those stores that have been so helpful. And sometimes, just because Joe has stopped in to tell a store owner about IFM, he gets a big surprise, such as the recent call from Grocery Outlet in Grass Valley to donate 60 cases of fruit juice.

What really touches Joe and the volunteers are clients who have hit on hard times in the past and then show up a year or so later with checks to help IFM help others. They are so appreciative that IFM was there when they needed help. All of these people are givers and receivers in the true spirit of community.

And that’s at the heart of Thanksgiving.


Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood? Contact Shirl Mendonca at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User