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Food stamps vanish in mail on way to Galt

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Posted: Thursday, August 15, 2002 10:00 pm

As many as 135 Galt-area families have not received food stamps this month because the stamps never made it through the mail from Sacramento to Galt.

The Galt office of the Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance learned early this month that a few families didn't receive their food stamps, but officials weren't aware the problem was widespread until last week, said Danni Van Lone, supervisor for the Galt office.

The food stamps were mailed in Sacramento, but they never reached the Galt Post Office, Van Lone said.

Human Assistance employees, the Galt Community Concilio and volunteers from local churches are helping needy families, Van Lone said.

Rick Keiser, outreach pastor at Family Life Christian Church in Galt, said he learned of the problem from an official from the Galt Joint Union Elementary School District, who informed him that the concilio was out of food.

The Department of Human Assistance had issued vouchers for food stamp recipients to pick up food at the concilio office on Chabolla Avenue.

Keiser said he tried Saturday to enlist the help of 16 Galt-area churches, although some of them were available only by voice mail.

At Sunday's service at Marengo Ranch Elementary School, Keiser said he asked for food donations from his congregation.

"We filled a full-sized pickup with food," he said. "It was mostly canned and boxed food. The congregation did an awesome job."

Additionally, Family Life raised $770 for the concilio Sunday, Keiser said. The church, less than two years old, has about 175 members.

The Human Assistance office also arranged for recipients to be driven to Sacramento to get duplicate phone stamps, she said.

Concilio and postal officials were unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.

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