Ray’s Food Place is gathering 6,000 bags of food to give this holiday season

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Stuff the Truck is Ray’s Food Place program to gather a $25 donation to create bags filled with groceries to give people in need a special holiday meal. 

“Stuff the Truck is a program that Ray’s started many years ago where we collect bags of food here at the store,” said Donnie Paugah, the store director. “What we do is we take and put the bags together we bring them [to the] front, each bag costs $25.”

From Oregon to California, Ray’s Food Place is creating bags of groceries and working with local food banks to distribute the food. Stuff the Truck program started on the first of November and the last date to donate is Christmas Day. 

Stuff the Truck is Ray’s annual program. They make it easy for customers to donate at checkout. They are two weeks into collecting bags of food and are a third of the way toward their goal.

“Where we go with the food is to the Blue Lake food bank and they come in once a week or they come in as needed and then they pick it up,” Paugah said. “It’s a great program for them, it’s a great program for all the Ray’s too.”

Ray’s has 38 stores and all are working to Stuff the Truck. Inside each food bag are several items like “tomato sauce, tomato, canned tomatoes, crackers, cereal, gravy mixes, mac and cheese, tuna fish, just some of the staples that people use ordinarily every day,” Paugah said.

In the past few years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they didn’t have as many donations. This year they are ahead of schedule.

“I’m pretty sure that this year we’re going to be well over 6,000 bags as a company,” Paugah said. “It goes a long way when you’re trying to help out the community and we’re supporting them and they’re supporting us and it’s a two-way street.”

The Stuff the Truck program ends on Christmas Day. People can go to the Blue Lake Resource Center, located at the Blue Lake city hall to receive a bag filled with food for the holidays.

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