VA Buyers Unfairly Lose Traction in the Marketplace

By Kay Wilson-Bolton

January 15, 2018

At the heart of every real estate transaction is a good appraisal no matter what type of financing is used to purchase the home.

In general, all homes must have Minimum Property Requirements which include a sound roof with generally five years of life left. The heating system has to be functioning without asbestos floating in the air.  Plumbing and electrical system have to be in good working order, there has to be a kitchen and bathroom, reliable sewage system, hot water heater, safe and potable drinking water.

Homes on raised foundations have to have a stable foundation and adequate crawl space for ventilation. Homes have to have private driveways or permanent and reliable access to the property from the street.  The property has to be free of any conditions which could negatively affect the health and safety of the occupants.

The home has to be free of poor or defective construction or degradation. For example, fireplaces should have dampers that work and spark arresters. House should be free of termite conditions, dryrot or fungus. Homes built before 1978 could have lead-based paint and no home can have peeling or deteriorating paint.

Sounds like normal and routine expectations, right?

Few people are willing to buy a home with these adverse conditions unless they are paying cash and receiving a price concession.

Appraisers are required to identify deficiencies and note them for the sake of the lender and the buyer who then has the right to ask the seller for corrections or walk away from the property. When termite corrective work is identified, buyers and sellers can sometimes agree on how to remedy the work by deleting it from the transaction or negotiating the cost of repairs prior to close of escrow.

With only one exception, VA loans are no different.  The house has to be made free and clear of any termite infestation, dryrot or fungus.

The marketplace has the wrong idea about VA loans and as a result, the offers from many Veterans are excluded from consideration.

John and his wife just made their eighth offer since April of 2017. They have seen themselves living in eight different homes and have made offers on all of them. They are VA buyers with a significant down payment getting started in the home buying process after the kids have left home. They have excellent credit and want to be homeowners while they are still working.

While VA will not let the VA buyer pay for a termite report, the buyer can pay for work to be done prior to close of escrow.  A free and clear report is required in all VA transactions prior to closing. Thanks to wise homeowners who obtain termite reports before the home goes on the market, all buyers can know what they are facing early in the process.

VA loans were designed to help Veterans buy homes. They can purchase a home with nothing down in a loan amount up to $672,750 in Ventura County. Sadly, when the market heats up, the age-old fears and impressions about VA loans squeeze VA buyers out of the market as sellers opt for buyers using “conventional financing.”

Some of those fears are lengthy escrows, intense government restrictions and influences. In my recent experiences, appraisals are completed in 10 days; and smart loan officers can get a VA loan through in 35 to 45 days.

Sellers will often exclude FHA loans from consideration for fear of the need to make unplanned repairs to the home. If a home is substandard in any way, the items will be identified as negative issues and repairs will be required prior to close of escrow no matter what time of loan is utilized.

Sadly, loans which are not VA and FHA are called “conventional” and any loan that is not “conventional” is considered “unconventional”. It, therefore, sets up a seller to wrong thinking.

I encourage sellers to research the VA loan of today and give thought to considering an offer from a buyer who has served this Country in the military. It’s good for nation and it’s the right thing to do for Veterans.

Kay Wilson-Bolton is a Certified Military Relocation Professional and has been serving Ventura county homeowners since 1976. She is a broker associate with Century 21 Troop Real Estate and can be reached at 805.340.5025 or

The End of the Road for Some – Week 469, January 10, 2018

I am very sad tonight. While a number of our unsheltered friends are very sick, I visited one today in ICU. She doesn’t have long to live and I was told family needed to come “now.” Thanks to Facebook and Messenger, I found them and sent the alarm.

She has two daughters, both educated. One has high credentials in academia but not able to save or even influence her mother’s habit of 30 years in drugs and on the streets.

She wanted a drink of water but none could be administered. She was told today she doesn’t have long to live and told me she is scared. We’ve had this discussion numerous times. She cried and lamented the years of bad choices that caused irreparable damage. I have followed her for 10 years, the ups and downs, the steps forward and back.

As I looked her, feeling waves of irritation mixed with compassion, sorrow and misery, I wondered what else we could have done. This I know. If housing of any kind had been made available, there would have been an opportunity for managed care which includes safe sleep, healthy food, yes, clean needles as she worked her way to clean and sober living.

In the end, she will die from a combination of cirrhosis of the liver, Hepatitis C and HIV, ulcerated limbs among other things, having likely contaminated many people along the way.

One day, two years ago, a very important person in the health care system for Ventura County moved a mountain and got her into the temporary system of managed care–just because I asked him to. In the end, against all hope, it wasn’t enough because it was temporary and that is because that is all there is.

When this is over, I will request a review of the cost of her health care within the system of the Emergency Room to help determine once and for all that the cost of one person like her can cost taxpayers a million dollars a year. It’s been proven true by many other homeless individuals.

The cost of a one bedroom apartment plus utilities would be about $15,000. Health care professionals by the dozens are attending her now, so even that cost would be reduced. The entire community would benefit from having a healthier individual not using city streets as a toilet and exposing other homeless people to this array of life threatening illnesses.

I will cry when she is gone. Her fight will be over but not mine. There are many who will fight on until one day there is enough political will within the healthcare system and community leaders to provide housing opportunities and managed care for those in the homeless population who want to live normal lives. Will some resist this opportunity? Yes, and that is because they aren’t ready to release the very demon that is killing them. Complex, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, we stay ready so that when they are, someone will answer.

Many Meals provides a weekly hot meal and food pantry and is a part of the Whole Person Care Program under the Ventura County Health Care Agency, led by Dr. Johnson Gill and attended by an amazing battalion of dedicated health care professionals. They are supported by a contingent of amazing mental health counselors and advocates led by Dr. John Schipper and assisted by the Behavioral Health Advisory Board, led by Elaine Crandall and Patrick Zarate. The weekly shower program is providing one more component of Whole Person Care. The connections made at the Richard’s Drop-In Center keeps the dots aligned as we bring services and caring people into the mix through the week, including Church in the Park on Sundays.

To conclude, tomorrow’s heartwarming and healthy meal is whole wheat spaghetti with homemade (mostly) spaghetti and generous amount of meat sauce, (thanks to the food rescue team to the Santa Paula School District) tangerines (thanks to our partners at Food Forward), hot buttered carrots thanks to Garman’s Pub, chips, cole slaw with raisins and pineapple thanks to Food Share.

The Thomas Fire, the flue and street culture – Week 468 at Many Meals on January 3, 2018

It’s worthy to note this week begins our tenth year of serving our homeless population in Santa Paula.

There is no question the compromised air quality for so many days has exacerbated the opportunities for the flue and serious colds to invade the homeless population. The Drop In Center today was a good place for quarantine, but we carried on.

Several of them are starting to come back to the office around closing time asking if they can stay in the store room. I can’t start that. Cold temperatures are on us and the warm days cause them to lay down the blankets they got from us the day before. One of our regulars wants us to call 911 almost every day so she can get a warm night’s sleep at the ER. She insists of one test after another. It’s not working.

Almost everyone is coughing, choking and all that goes with the cold season–including all the volunteers. I learned something today.

We received a generous amount of generic pain relievers and cold medicine from our grocery store pickups. It is tempting to share them with those are congested and feverish, and I know I’m not a physician.

A number of our known addicts will sell them to other addicts as some kind of new street drug. If we decide Ibuprofen is in order, it will be two at a time and they can take them in front of me.

We completed our second week of Care Pod Showers. A total of ten were served this week. I’m hoping more will come on Friday and take advantage of a visit with the nurse from Ventura County Health Care Agency and Las Islas Mobile Clinic.  It’s the most wonderful program.

But, it does solve the problem of homelessness. Only housing will solve that. This takes educated leadership and political will.  Don’t see it yet.

I also learned that selling food stamp cards is common. All they have to do is set  a price, share the PIN number and they have cash for drugs. I need advice on this one if anyone has any.

Due to my own cold for days, this will be a short missal.

Menu tomorrow is barbecue beans with plenty of bacon, lettuce salad with fresh tomatoes, rice from El Pescador, cooked carrots from Garman’s Pub, rolls and butter and beautiful navel orange slices.

Thank you to all of you. Happy New Year sounds so trite, but I long for more peace and kinder words among us, more patience and a greater willingness to listen.​



Homeless for the Holidays at Many Meals Week 467 on December 27, 2017

This has been a month to remember with the Thomas Fire causing such fear and bringing such disaster.  Despite the impact of the winds, the terrible air quality and learning why breathing in that toxic cocktail of particles is so dangerous, the homeless population felt little impact. They were glued to the television and caught up in the reporting, but for the air quality, they lived their lives as usual.

Two reported to me recently that “we” have to serve them because I am rich and retired, and the government pays the volunteers to serve them.  Fortunately, all the others who benefit from our work and very grateful and appreciate the hot meals and now particularly the hot showers. The Welcome Center was open Christmas Day and we were able to share food and water with a number of them.

The soft launch of the Care Pods was last Friday under the eyes of County Health Care professionals and a few volunteers who welcomed those who received the first showers and registered them into the Homeless Management Information System.

Jill Wallerstedt, John Lopez and Laura Hernandez led the volunteer side. While I was disappointed only eight people took advantage of the showers and opportunities to see a nurse, the word was spread this week and I anticipate double the number this Friday. Those who enjoyed the showers commented on how good it felt and how organized it was. One is a single woman who is homeless and picks lemons for a living.

Pastor Paul Rovere from the El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church has been very welcoming and accommodating. We appreciate him and his congregation very much.

Nine families were adopted this year for gifts. It was a nice way to get to know how they live their lives. SPIRIT Vice President Lupe Servin organized Toys for Tots again this year. It was disappointing again to see some families reject many of the toys as not “good enough” or expensive enough. We are going to rethink our role in this very labor intensive task for next year. Toys for Tots is a wonderful project but as the “tots” get older, their tastes become more mature as well. The pressure on parents is not funny and hard to watch.

January 2018 starts year 10 for Many Meals. Little did we know where that first meal on January 14, 2009 would take us. We applaud the Many Meals project in Camarillo who followed us for still going strong and staying the course.

Food Share was closed today and I felt the pang of fear in providing affordably for our 600 meals tomorrow. We keep a rotating supply of food so we will be okay for this week. Thanks as always to Garman’s Pub for the fresh vegetables and El Pescador always willing to provide their wonderful Spanish rice.

We learned that Elevate Church in Newhall is discontinuing their fresh produce distributing at the Boys and Girls Club the third Saturday of each month. We thought to continue it but it would require renting a refrigerated truck, picking the up the vegetables in Pacoima on Friday afternoon and holding it for distribution until the next day. Not an easy task. Their decision to stop the activity is based on the diminished number attending on distribution day. We thank them for caring about our community.

Tomorrow’s meal will be our popular Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Spanish rice, fresh cooked carrots and chips. Hopefully someone will find some oranges so we can have a fresh orange quarter on the plate.

Thank you to those who support our work, like our stories and encourage us along the way by good words and/or financial support. If you are able to provide a donation before year’s end, please remember we are a 501C3 non-profit corporation and can provide a receipt for your tax deductible donation.   SPIRIT of Santa Paula, Post Office Box 728, Santa Paula CA 93061-0728.  If anyone out there is a grant writer, would you kindly let me know if you are able to help?




Calling All Towels – Week 466 at Many Meals on December 20, 2017

The Showers are back and it’s been a long-awaited event for our homeless population, and now anyone who has been affected by fires and doesn’t have a place to clean up.

If you have one or more good-sized bath towels to spare, would you drop them at Many Meals this week? We need a new stash.

The details:  The Mobile Outreach Care Pods project is a collaboration between El Buen Pastor Church, Spirit of Santa Paula, and Ventura County Health Care Agency (including Health Care for the Homeless and Whole Person Care Programs and Las Islas Mobile Health Unit) to outreach to and provide basic services, including showers and referrals to social services for the homeless.

The goal is to bring the high utilizers of the health care system into the Whole Person Care Program where all their needs are met with a focus on connecting them to resources and reduce the numbers of ER visits to appropriate and regular care.

The Care Pods are retrofitted container boxes that include showers (including ADA accessible showers) and an exam room for very limited scope medical services (vaccinations, TB testing, brief health assessments, treatment of minor skin conditions).  The goal is to support basic hygiene and connect homeless individuals with a range of services that should support their long-term stability including mental health and alcohol and drug programs, benefits programs (health insurance, food, employment), etc.  Staffed with clinical and non-clinical representatives from County Agencies and community non-profits, the Care Pods will provide an array of needed services in a one-stop model.

How many days a week?   One day a week, but no more than three days a week per established MOU.

Services offered: Showers, referrals to social services, referrals to mental health and alcohol and drug services, limited scope medical services (vaccinations, TB testing). There will be free hygiene bags, clean underwear, clean towels for drying, clothes when available for both men and women.

Request for Duration of Permit:  Through 12/31/2020

SPIRIT of Santa Paula will be provide volunteers at the site but the County will provide the nurses and registration process linking the attendees to the HMIS, Homeless Management Information System. This tracks the utilizers of the healthcare system. In fact, we are close to getting two of our disabled seniors into permanent housing because they were already in HMIS.  We are soon to be trained in the program.

We are very excited to bring this much needed basic service back to our residents. Jill Wallerstedt has worked with the Showers of Blessing program in Santa Barbara and will be leading the Santa Paula effort on behalf of SPIRIT of Santa Paula.

The impact of the Thomas Fire on the homeless population was largely felt in the poor air quality. We provided masks and were able to keep them indoors for some of the daylight hours, but they were sleeping and breathing it all night.  They didn’t lose anything in the flames, their habitat can be almost anywhere and they know that the majority of people who lost their homes can get another one. They watched intently on television and were engaged in the sights and sounds of winds, fire and equipment. We had a huge source of fresh water bottles. I can count on them to recycle! I am attaching a chart showing the cycle of emotion following a crucial incident. It takes a year so we have many days ahead to be kind.

Mental Health Clinicians have been very attentive to us at Many Meals and the Drop in Center. We have had a fair share of high energy incidents at Many Meals and two of those were caused by people in great need of high levels of care. One is now in a treatment program and unfortunately another one is in jail. I can only help there is an outreach there so his re-entry back into the community is a gentle one.

Christmas is here, along with the continued requests from parents for presents. It’s almost a full time job. A number of really good people have stepped in and offered to take care of a family, instead of scattering the donation.

We have missed the food from the cafeterias within the Santa Paula Unified School District. School has been out for two weeks and will not resume until January when the air quality is safer and Christmas vacation has ended. SPIRIT board member and past president, Dawn Bavero, will be leading the effort to perfect our food rescue system. A meeting has been called for January by Dr. Levin of the Ventura County Public Health Agency to pursue a concerted effort to rescue food and diminish the organic material going into landfills. The program will be called “Waste Free Ventura County”.

Our menu tomorrow is Cheddar Cheese and Chicken casserole with and bacon and cheese sauce casserole, ready-made cole slaw with ranch dressing, slices oranges, buttered carrots from Garman’s Pub, roles and butter.

Our meals are always nutritious. Schools get points when their meals reach a certain level of protein and nutrition. We are mindful of the quality and character of our weekly meal.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank you for being faithful to this work. If you shop Amazon, please us and specify SPIRIT of Santa Paula as your designated charity.

If you can give a year end gift, please do so. The address is PO Box 728, Santa Paula CA 93061-0728.

Kay Wilson-Bolton, Volunteer Director

SPIRIT of Santa Paula

a 501C3 Corporation founded in 2002
Serving the Least Powerful and Most Vulnerable in our Community

When Realtors Face the Loss of Home There are things than can’t be destroyed.


December 17, 2017

By Kay Wilson-Bolton

There is something unique in the business transaction of helping someone purchase a home or finding the right rental.

The goal is always a good ending and the perfect match. When a Realtor® hands someone the keys to their home, it goes with our best hope that all will be well and that memories become the basis of a good and certain future. Based on how the transaction went, there is a lifetime connection. There was great temptation during the Thomas Fire to call or text clients to see if they were safe or if we could help. So many of us had been evacuated ourselves, there was often little to do other than pray, be encouraging and supportive from afar and literally stand by.

We learned from the ravages of the Thomas Fire what any particular home, apartment, single family residence or manufactured home really means. It appears that each one who lost their home struggles most with the loss of the memories made inside. Yes, each of us placed some priority on what things needed to be removed in haste, but it seems those items were attached to memories such as family photos, grandma’s quilts, special books and keepsakes or to a new future with important papers and records.

The inconvenience of losing their dwelling manifested itself differently for each family. Some had the good fortune of finding vacant homes quickly or were able to stay with family and friends. It was very different for the 11 farmworker families in Santa Paula who lost their mobile homes located on ranch which were owned by their employer. The rally to provide for them took on its own personality as did the efforts in Ojai, Ventura, Fillmore and Santa Paula. Donations at most evacuation centers exceeded need, but it was determined by all it was a good problem to have.

During the smoky days of uncertainty, there were moments of angst when lenders stopped funding loans and the issuance of insurance policies was halted. The Realtor® community had to coalesce like never before to keep clients and colleagues informed and encouraged. Most of us had agreements that we would not press for updates but would stand by and wait for them.

Special communications were required of Realtors whose clients had left the area and left the care of the home to family and friends and their Realtor. The looming issues of safety collided with the issues of an uncertain future relating to value and a potentially slow market impacted by tragedy.

The real estate community in particular mobilized and uniquely rallied around our 16 colleagues who lost their homes. There was little time lost from the moment of discovery to making connection with an offer of a place to stay and the provision of basic necessities. Within a few hours, most of us knew from Facebook who the victims were and shared their sadness. It was clear no one was exempt from loss.

At the same time, Realtors for our communities joined their neighbors to serve food, collect items, have fundraisers and be good neighbors. There was cross sharing of resources.

We found Facebook to be our reliable information source. Posts were mostly thoughtful and carefully fact-based.

What is categorically true is that while there is justified sadness over the loss of property and the comforts of home, there is an overriding sorrow for the loss of firefighter Cory Iverson from San Diego. He gave all so that we would be safe. His family gave all too. It is the one most significant memory the survivors of the Thomas Fire will recall together.

Kay Wilson-Bolton has been serving Ventura County for 41 years.

The Impact of a Pre-Emptive Offer

June 18, 2017

By Kay Wilson-Bolton

In a competitive market like this, the impact of a making the early and quick “pre-emptive” offer can vary. In the old days real estate professionals would advise clients their first offer is their best one. It’s not always true.

If a home is listed at $650,000, it is reasonable to assume that a quick, full-price offer with reasonable terms, made prior to full market exposure, would be readily accepted by the seller.

Recent experiences demonstrate it isn’t so.  In the case of a trustee’s sale, it is the duty of the trustee to obtain the highest net return for the beneficiaries. The trustee may feel more compelled to wait to see all offers unless a fee appraisal is in the file making the trustee aware of what to expect when the house is appraised. And, the trustee will wait if there is no pressure from the beneficiaries.

If the sellers are being relocated, they are likely to accept their first, full-price offer unless they have a guaranteed buy-out and can afford to wait for a higher price. If it is a flip house, investment funds for the next sale are tied up until the close, it could go either way if the investor has significant funds in the bank.

The various business practices of individual brokers and their agents will influence the outcomes. Based on the contact management programs being used, buyers may hear about new listings within 24 hours of being taken. Others will learn about it in real time.

The neighborhood network is also in play. Word will leak that the property is coming on the market soon. Sharp buyers and their agent will make the pre-emptive offer that will result in one of two events. “Stop — let’s see what else is out there;”  or, “Go” and move towards escrow with the seller not looking back.

Listing agents needs to be wise in how they advise their sellers. The wrong advice could cost their clients  both money and time. There is no substitute for experience, but the agent is obligated to present options stand by while the client decides. It is always the client’s choice. Always.

Kay Wilson-Bolton has been serving Ventura County since 1976 and brings a regional perspective to local issues.  She can be reached at 805.340.5025, or and is associated with Century 21 Troop Real Estate.



Lost Three This Week – Week 432 for Many Meals in Santa Paula April 26, 2917

Three of our regular attendees at Many Meals lost their life this past week. Kind of shocking really, but one had a better ending than the others.

Hank Garcia lived at the 12th Street railroad tracks and suffered from diabetes. He had a terrible incision in his leg as the result of a wound but despite poor vision managed to ride his bicycle back and forth. He just gave out after a diabetic episode. Henry was around 50 years old.

Victor Sanchez had been released from jail last Wednesday arrived at Many Meals to help out. He is Pete Reyna’s brother. Victor became ill in the night and was rushed the hospital at 3 am. Doctors performed surgery but it was not successful. He was taken off life support the next afternoon. Medical Examiner has completed an autopsy and it may be a while before results are known. I was able to reach the chaplain at Todd Road Jail in order to make notification to his long-time companion, Lissa Mata, the daughter of one of our volunteers, Hope Mata. This is a time for grieving and much introspection. Victor would be 46 on April 27.

Many will remember Ed Karpinski. He had a stellar career officiating at events for the National Track and Field Association. He was homeless in town for several years, even at the age of 74.  He slept on the bench at the Library for a long time and camped at an industrial site over by Ferris Lane. He had some legal business to take care of in Florida that would make him re-eligible for his VA benefits. We provided air fare and transportation. When he came back he worked with County Homeless Services who were able to fast track him into his own apartment. I learned this weekend Ed used me as a reference for the apartment when the Medical Examiner called this weekend to tell me Ed had passed away at home.  I also learned the landlord is a friend of mine who rented to Ed, despite everything, because I was listed as a reference. Glen never did call for one.  Some Realtor® colleagues delivered some nice furniture to Ed over Christmas and he was home at last.

This is not the way I want these men to end. I pray each day that some kinds word, some expression of encouragement or some faithful responses to who they are in God’s sight provided that cup of cool water that made them feel valued and honored by those fortunate enough to be on their path with them.

On Thursday night, I get to address the local Brownie Troop on our work and why it is important to be nice to people and help them with problems.  I’ll be filtering that conversation.

Menu tomorrow is enchilada chicken casserole, red cabbage with sesame dressing, rice from El Pescador, cooked buttered carrots from Garman’s Pub, rolls and butter.

Important notes: Cook Ken Ary is recovering by triple by-pass and heart valve replacement. Cook Ron Handrock is dealing with back pain. Our drug and alcohol counselor, Jim Dexheimer working hard to regain strength after surgery and severe migraines.

Life takes its toll, doesn’t it? It also provides great rewards.  Saint Theresa wrote in her book, “The Letters”: It takes a lot of love to do small things. The smaller the task, the greater the love.”  True that.


Hats off to the School District – It’s Week 431 at Many Meals and they are working late these days. April 19, 2017

One of our Many Meals student helpers was evicted from a garage with her mother and little sister. They were in a motel til the money ran out. They are at the Lighthouse in Oxnard and traffic is particularly bad that time of day. The School District is trying to work out transportation for this 11th grader who is Harvard material. I tell her every day what my mom said, “Nothing lasts forever and you will get through this.” She was right.

There are so many stories at Many Meals. The farmworkers are working later now that days are longer and they can’t get to us before the gates close at 6 pm. Many of them come to the back door while we are still in the kitchen. Last week several arrived late and I’m not sure they had eaten all day. We would not turn them away. Each received two generous dinners and desserts.

When I got back to the office around 8 pm, I noticed that several of them had followed the Many Meals truck and three more were at the back door.  I had this overwhelming sense of gratitude for being able to serve them. I know mashed potatoes may not be their favorite food, but we had plenty of bollos and awesome chicken gumbo with salsa to serve with it.

I felt sorrow and gratitude for them.  Sorrow for the hard work they do and that few will do. Sorrow that things are better here, it seems, than they are in their home land. Sorrow they are enticed to come here and left to the elements and luck. My gratitude is that they found a welcoming place with lots of food at the end of a really hard work day that few of us understand. I am grateful they do the work that provide so much for all us. I never want to stand before God and be admonished for not honoring people who picked the food I ate.

We meet so many people with problems during the day. The Fire Department called over the weekend to see if I could help a family of three with shelter.  They had a car at least and so I suggested they stay safe for the night and see me in the morning. She is here with proper documentation, but her husband is not. He is working during the day but they are having a hard time finding a place to rent without a deposit and the ability to run

Tomorrow’s menu with be cheese and chicken burritos, fresh strawberries, rice from El Pescador and beans from the Presby kitchen, freshly cooked buttered carrots, green 3-way salad,  rolls and butter.

Thank you all for listening. I know you are grateful too.

 The Many Meals Story – Santa Paula CA

 SPIRIT of Santa Paula

Kay Wilson-Bolton, Director


Serving the Least Powerful and Most Vulnerable People in Santa Paula CA


Its Many Meals – Week 430 for April 12, 2017 – Its Ken Ary Week at Many Meals

Ken Ary is one of our faithful, predictable and helpful cooks. Tonight he is having heart surgery, apparently the result of tests he had done to discover why he was so short of breath. His family is posting his condition on Facebook. Pray for Ken, if you would.

Food Pantries have a reputation for canned soup, bread and some vegetables.

You should see ours, thanks to our food rescue program and partnership with Food Share, last weekend’s pantry consisted of 1,600 lbs of frozen chicken, 100 dozen eggs, fresh asparagus, bananas, lots of fancy breads, garlic bread, sandwich bread, celery, oranges, canned fruit, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce. How good is that? Critics comment often on people taking more than they should or guessing they don’t really need it. We don’t ask questions or think that way. If there is food, we want everyone to have a fair share. You never know what two or three free meals do for a stretched budget.  Besides that, it’s not my food.

“Let your hook always be cast In the pool where you least expect it, for there will be a fish.” — Ovid

For many in our community, food pantry day is grocery shopping day and Many Meals is party time. I love seeing the line and I am so thankful God decided long before the foundation of the world was laid this would be my job.  He promised that He would prepare our hands for the work He called us to do so I have no excuse.

Tomorrow’s menu will be mashed potatoes and baked chicken with gravy, cooked peas (thank you Clint Garman and Sysco Foods), green salad, rolls and butter.

If you haven’t visited Many Meals, you should. There are 20 – 30 students each week from various schools along with young ones the ages of 6 and 8 years old. Their parents want them to have early experiences of working with adults and helping people outside their sphere. Thank you Jenny and Carlos for sharing your kids with us and setting such a good example… besides the help you provide.

The Many Meals Story – Santa Paula CA

SPIRIT of Santa Paula

Kay Wilson-Bolton, Director


Serving the Least Powerful and Most Vulnerable People in Santa Paula CA