Martha’s Kitchen Meals Pantry is making a gift of 1000’s of presents to needy households in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) – The demand for meals served by San Jose’s pantry, Martha’s Kitchen, has increased 100% this year due to the pandemic.

Although they met that need, the soup kitchen wanted to do more.

This holiday season they are helping Santa Claus.

“This year we found that there are many families struggling more than normal with COVID and many other organizations have scaled back or canceled their toy giveaway programs,” said Bill Lee, executive director of Martha’s Kitchen. “So we decided it was important that someone show up and fill the void, so we decided to do it.”

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Martha’s Kitchen and Order of Malta volunteers wrapped thousands of toys and handed out gifts for all ages.

After just two days, 5,000 gifts were given away on Monday, and another 3,000 more.

Each one was wrapped with extra care to ensure the Bay Area kids had a gift on Christmas morning.

“A lot of these less fortunate kids literally won’t get a single gift for Christmas,” Lee said. “The packaging was really an important element for us because we want the kids to have a little piece of a normal Christmas party. The ability not just to get a toy but to take something home with them, not knowing what it is and wait until Christmas to open it. “

“I love it, especially now that my working hours are being cut,” said Lupe Chavez. “Thank you for everything you do.”

“At the moment everything is very helpful and supportive for our family,” said Laura Olmedo. “We really appreciate that. Just getting something from them is very important to us.”

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“A lot of love happens here because you know you brought a little luck and a little bit of normalcy to a family who had an otherwise really bad year due to COVID,” Lee said.

Just because the toy ride ends doesn’t mean you still can’t help Martha’s Kitchen. They are always looking for donations and volunteers to help build a better Bay Area.

For more information on how to return, please visit Martha’s Kitchen website here.

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