Summerset ‘kares’ for area families in need

Photo by Tony Kukulich

Members of Delta Community Services and local volunteers from Summerset III participated in the group’s annual Feed the Children food drive. Top left: Dave Noecker and Mike Monahan; front left: Felicitas Ochoa and Alfonso Ochoa.

In the spirit of the holidays, a group of Brentwood’s Summerset III residents participated in its annual Feed the Children food drive for Delta Community Services on Thursday, Dec. 5.

The drive was organized by the Kare Bears, a service organization within Summerset that welcomes new residents, holds fundraisers and promotes connection among residents and within the local community.

“One of the reasons I was interested in living (in Summerset) was because of the Kare Bears,” said Lori Clark, a food drive participant and two-year resident of the community.

The Feed the Children drive is in its 12th year, which is held annually on the first Thursday of December. Packaged and canned non-perishable food, health items and personal item donations are collected, sorted and brought to Delta Community Services (DCS), who then distribute them to East County families in need.

This year, 84 bags of food were donated, and $970 in monetary donations was collected. Money collected is used for food vouchers, which are distributed to families throughout the year.

“This is no hardship for me, but it will make such a difference to someone else,” Clark said.

To identify families in need, DCS Director Felicitas Ochoa places sign-up sheets on the front door of the building. Ochoa is bilingual, enabling her to communicate with both English and Spanish-speaking families.

“The families trust (Ochoa), and we couldn’t do this without her,” said DCS President Bill Burdt. “We are really just the conduit between Summerset and these families.”

Local businesses also sponsored the effort. WinCo Foods donated paper bags, which were distributed to Summerset residents to fill with donations, and Raley’s donated plastic bags for food distribution.

Delta Community Services provides information, referrals and services for community members with various needs: senior services, legal assistance, will assistance, income tax assistance, credit counseling, personal and abuse counseling, housing and rent assistance, transportation, food and utilities assistance and more. Its office is located at 648 Second St. in Brentwood. For more information, visit or call 925-634-8275.