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Santa Maria family prepares 180 meals for Salvation Army


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Now that the holidays have passed, some organizations helping those in need have less volunteers this week.

With fewer volunteers at The Salvation Army, one family decided to prepare home-cooked meals for everyone.

Isaiah Aldaba heard that there was going to be a different kind of meal at the organization.

“I heard they're offering a free lunch. So I had to try out this meal. I
heard it's very good and it is very good. But I had to find out for myself,” Aldaba said.

For the fourth year, Ravi Chahal, his wife and two kids decided to prepare a home-cooked meal for everyone who came to The Salvation Army.

“We feel like we need to serve our community and the people who need help. It's a blessing for use to serve, cook food at home and bring it over,” said Ravi's wife Harpreet.

Cathie Ortiz with AmeriCorps said the generosity of the family
comes at a good time for the organization.

"The Salvation Army always has a lot of volunteers during the holidays. But they seem to fall off afterwards. So we're really happy that this family came in after the holidays because the need is huge. The need is still there,” Ortiz said.

The Salvation Army is currently down on volunteers by about thirty percent. Staff members hope to see more volunteers return throughout the year.

“They put out good quality food and it's a real relief to have them
volunteering. It's always needed throughout the year and all year long,” Ortiz said.

Aldaba describes what the hot meal means to him.

“It makes me feel like there are people that care. it makes me feel not left out you know,” Aldaba said.

Ravi and his family said they spent several days preparing American and Indian-style food for The Salvation Army.

“We also had to do groceries a couple of days in advance for all the food,” Harpreet said.

Ravi said this is the biggest group he and his family has prepared meals for, and they hope to return.

“We plan to keep doing it throughout the year and share our blessings and to come back next year as well,” Ravi said.

Ravi's family served about 180 meals.

If you would like to become a volunteer at The Salvation Army, you can call the office at: 805-349-2421.

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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