Angel Ramos, Food Pantry coordinator for the Lompoc division of the Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, has been revealed as the fifth nominee for this year’s Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize.
Ramos has lived in Lompoc for 55 years, having moved to the city when he was 13 years old. He and his wife Martha, a local hairdresser, have a son, daughter, niece, grandson and granddaughter, who also live in Lompoc.
When Ramos retired in 2009, he decided to volunteer at the Food Pantry. Two years later, he was hired as part-time coordinator for 30 hours per week. By 2011, he had become full-time coordinator, and the pantry had increased in size from 1,300 square feet to 4,200 square feet.
The Catholic Charities is a safeguard nonprofit that offers groceries to those in need. It serves individuals and families primarily from Lompoc, Los Alamos and Buellton.
While the name is Catholic Charities, the organization’s workers serve all nationalities and faiths. They are available five days a week, collecting food from individuals, churches, local grocery stores, the government and other companies and organizing it into a mini grocery store.
The pantry is staffed by volunteers from many sources. Some are retired people looking to make a contribution. Some come from the military. Others are students satisfying community service requirements. Some are satisfying court-mandated community service.
“This all seems quite simple and logical, but really, it all depends on Angel’s coordinating all incoming donations and diverse volunteers,” read a portion of Ramos’ nomination letter. “Angel Ramos is totally understated and devoted. He is quick to give all the credit to his volunteers, keeping himself out of the limelight. But we think it’s time to honor Angel Ramos for his skill and devotion in being the linchpin of this charity so vital to our community.”
Nominations for the Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize can be submitted to Allie Kay Spaulding at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 741-7000. Nominations will be accepted through Nov. 30.
The eighth annual Peace Prize recognition ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Valley of the Flowers United Church of Christ in Vandenberg Village.