Merced neighborhood gives beyond food drive goal

Residents at Los Verdes Estates in north Merced held a food drive this past weekend where more than 600 items of canned goods and nonperishables were collected.

Michelle Hafer, the neighborhood watch coordinator, said the goal was to collect at least 272 items for the Merced County Rescue Mission. She is excited and proud of her neighbors for going above and beyond.

Hafer explained that the food drive was an event that was held at the Estates years ago, but had been dismissed in the past few years.

“I became the coordinator in March and one of my goals was to bring this food drive back,” she said. Hafer explained that the Estates has 68 homes and 54 percent of those homes made donations. The drive was coordinated through the 10 neighborhood watch area captains, who passed out paper bags to the residents a week ago. On Saturday, the area captains picked up the bags, which contained not only food items, but also included laundry soap, toothpaste, tissue and other household supplies. A vacuum cleaner was also donated.

“The Rescue Mission helps people that are in need, so they need a little bit of everything,” Hafer said.

The next step is to drive the 60 bags worth of goods to the Rescue Mission.

“We are just trying to do as much as we can,” Hafer said. “It’s so nice to see an area come together and do something positive.”

Hafer plans to make the food drive an annual event.