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Posted on November 8, 2012 | 3:26 p.m.

Montecito Fire Collecting Food, Toy Donations for Unity Shoppe

Source: Geri Ventura for the Montecito Fire Protection District

In conjunction with the “Season of Hope” campaign, the Montecito Fire Protection District is joining with KSBY and other Santa Barbara County fire agencies in collecting nonperishable food items and toys for Unity Shoppe throughout this holiday season.

Suggested food donations:

» Peanut butter

» Canned fruits and vegetables

» Canned stews and chili

» Fruit juice

» Rice and beans

» Baked beans

» Soups

» Diapers

» Coffee and tea

» Dried fruits and vegetables

» Oatmeal

» Whole grain crackers

» Lowe sugar/high fiber cereals

» Pasta

» Canned tuna and salmon

» Canned chicken

Nonperishable food items and new, unwrapped toys for a child or teen can be dropped off at either of two fire stations (no used toys or clothing will be accepted):

» 595 San Ysidro Road

» 2300 Sycamore Canyon Road

According to Unity Shoppe, more than 22,000 people are referred each year by more than 300 nonprofit agencies, churches, schools and hospitals. In addition to providing holiday gifts for less fortunate children, Unity Shoppe also operates a year-round “free” grocery and clothing store so people can shop with dignity for their basic needs, including food, school clothing, school supplies, household goods, disaster and emergency services. More than 1,700 volunteers help a small staff of 15. More than $2 million in merchandise is distributed annually.

We hope you and your family enjoy a safe and happy holiday season and hope you will consider bringing a gift into the station for a family or a child less fortunate.

— Geri Ventura represents the Montecito Fire Protection District.

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