Mission: For 48 years, MEND has opened its doors to the most vulnerable members of our community and over the years we have become one of the most comprehensive and empowerin ... (More)

MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1976, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information


 10641 North San Fernando Road
Pacoima CA 91331 


You are viewing this organization's new Charity Navigator profile page. To view the legacy version, click here.

Star Rating System by Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.


This charity's score is 91.16, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.

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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).

This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).

Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.

Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

0.86 years

Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.

Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.

Source: IRS Form 990


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.

Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.

Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.



Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.

Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information


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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting

Janet Marinaccio, Chief Executive Officer

$147,280 (1.55% of Total Expenses)

Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2020

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Supplying money, goods or services to the poor (BMF activity code: 560)

Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.

MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Staffing

  • MEND relies on volunteers to help distribute food and other services. Because of social distancing requirements, and also because so many are older adults, we lost many volunteers.

How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

For all of the pain and giref it has caused our country and community, COVID-motivated giving ended up having a positive impact for us. As an operator of a food bank and food pantry, we saw exponentially increased demand and needed to purchase food for the first time. Our donors and foundation and corporate funders responded to help us meet the need. We were able to secure, and have fully forgiven a PPP loan, and received CARES Act funding to support our food programs as well as to conduct outreach to educate the public about COVID and vaccines. Even 16 months in, the demand remains strong, and the outreach work continues. Our fundraising appeals are likewise continuing as we are committed to responding to this crisis for as long as we are needed. Because of this level of support, we did not have to touch any of our operating reserves. After an initially bumpy ride in our investments, we saw our Board designated reserves increase considerably, providing us more stability.

How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

We had to pivot fast. Benefiting over 200,000 people annually through multiple service encounters, we knew we had to act swiftly - and to have a communication plan so that we remained available for our community, while ensuring no one fell through the cracks. We adopted policies and standard operating procedures - updating them as more information became available. Staff who could work remotely were provided the equipment they needed to continue their work seamlessly. Those who were essential workers were trained on the use of PPE & social distancing. We set up COVID screening stations (outfitted with plexi screens) for temp and symptom checks. And redirected staff to support the food bank since we could not accommodate most of our volunteer workforce due to social distancing requirements. We invested in enhanced safety measures - sanitizing work areas and adding virus HVAC filters. We also purchased food for distribution following a drop in donations just as demand increased.

How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

All programs were adapted. Our food distribution was moved to our parking lot so we could meet the increased demand of people using a food pantry because they were economically displaced through job or business loss. We also continued to serve our typical very-low income and homeless clients. Our case managed programs went remote. Family Support Program provided phone & computer check ins to keep clients motivated and encouraged. Similarly, Pathways to Wellness provided virtual coaching, plus we partnered with a nursing school program to provide safely distanced wellness check ins. The students conducted weigh ins and taught clients how to track their BMI with a tape measure. They also delivered boxes of food to the homes of the clients most vulnerable to COVID-19 (those with chronic health conditions and/or advanced age). We started new community outreach designed to provide information and resources related to COVID-19 and to encourage vaccinations in our high-need area.

Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

For those whose jobs largely can be done remotely, we are adopting a hybrid work from home model. We will continue enhanced sanitizing and safety measures, and are considering ways to take what we learned through the modified distribution model to determine if there are ways to streamline that process post-COVID.

Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
12/1/20202019 91.16
11/1/20192018 89.39
10/1/20192018 89.02

This organization received multiple star ratings within this fiscal year, due to an update to it's Accountability and Transparency data and/or the receipt of an amended Form 990.

8/1/20192018 86.84
8/1/20182017 88.29
11/1/20172016 93.36
8/1/20162015 96.83
6/1/20162014 98.23
Rating Version: 2.0
11/1/20152014 95.36
11/1/20142013 95.74
9/1/20132012 97.88
9/1/20122011 97.80
10/1/20112010 97.81
9/20/20112010 96.95
Rating Version: 1.0
8/1/20102009 78.91
10/1/20092008 79.39
10/1/20082007 87.42

...   Impact & Results

This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.

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Additional Information


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Largest Programs

Largest Programs

MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity reported its three largest programs on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses


...   Leadership & Adaptability

This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.

Leadership & Adaptability Score


out of 100

The score earned by MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.

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Leadership & Adaptability Report


of 100 points


The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission

With dignity & respect, MEND's mission is to meet the immediate needs of individuals and families and strengthen their capacity to thrive. Since 1971, our organization has met the immediate crisis needs of people, and supported them in developing connections, skills and resources to overcome long-term challenges. Most of the individuals and families who come to MEND live in extreme poverty, meeting federal definitions of homelessness (e.g. living in places not meant for human habitation, doubled up, in vehicles, temporary shelter, or are completely unsheltered). The typical client who comes to us for services is Latino, food insecure, unemployed or earns well below the poverty line. MEND serves as a community anchor providing direct services through our food bank and pantry services, work experience program, Family Support and Wellness Programs, and by leveraging the services of numerous partners to meet the complex needs of the community we serve.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses


The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.

MEND's vision: All individuals and families served by MEND flourish for generations to come. MEND started out as a poverty relief organization, addressing the most basic needs of struggling people and families. The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the deep vulnerability of our community as our home city of Pacoima, CA became the epicenter of COVID infections - reaching at the nexus the highest case rate per 100,000 residents in Los Angeles County. Today, our purpose is to not only meet those essential, often crisis needs, but moreover, to disrupt cycles of generational poverty that so many of the individuals and families we serve, experience. Our current strategic plan includes a vision for organizational, individual, and community resilience - because thriving includes being able to bounce back after a crisis.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.

Goal One: Our top 2 Org priorities are: Financial Integrity: Cultivating a viable & sustainable business model Organizational Vitality: Improving fundamental capabilities and core strength of staff and Board

Goal Type: Invest in the capacity of our organization (financial, management, technical, etc.).

Goal Two: Priority - Invest in Prog Impact. Evaluate current programming to identify and improve mission impact (tangible results) & financial viability (covers costs, generates revenue, fundable/viable model).

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.

Goal Three: Develop robust collaborations and leverage high-performing partners to provide a continuum of holistic and reciprocal services to support persons served.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development

Describe an investment in leadership

MEND's board participates in an annual orientation that emphasizes their specific leadership role. We also match new with older-tenured members for mentorship. Most staff leadership development in the last 12-18 mos. was organic & largely based on a mentoring model. The team participates in decision making and planning - particularly critical e.g. for COVID adaptations. Team leaders provide opportunities for staff to move through the stages of learning - from unconscious incompetence through unconscious competence. Weekly meetings include goal setting and coaching. The pandemic unleashed our teams’ leadership abilities. Operating a food pantry with a 400% increase in people benefitting from our services required agility and finding the most effective model. Most of the improvements came from staff suggestions. After all, they were the ones on the front lines. Our model was praised by the LAPD for ensuring maximum safety for drive-through and walk-up clients when visiting our facility.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.

This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Raising Awareness

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

As a community anchor for 50 years, MEND has consistently cultivated strong partnerships. E.g., our Community Nutrition Program (CNP) links local agencies to MEND's food bank to ensure food-insecure people get access to food. Working with over 50 agencies, CNP benefits thousands of people in LA. To ensure a successful 2020 Census count, MEND collaborated with local groups to avoid duplication of efforts, and ensure a strong & unified message. And, as part of COVID-19 vaccine outreach we're partnered with local agencies, clinics, hospitals, & pharmacies to help increase coverage in neighborhoods that were hard-hit with COVID. The marketing team creates targeted marketing & social media campaigns, community events, and partnerships, e.g. with a local retailer & its customers, and several corporations & their employees, to restock the food bank. Finally, MEND is creating a co-location opportunity to ensure critical services are easily accessible to the vulnerable people we serve.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.

The COVID-19 pandemic, and its associated impacts, caused a massive overnight surge in demand for emergency services at MEND. In fact, by the end of 2020, our services had benefited well over 220,000 people in Los Angeles, providing access to nutritious food, diapers for the poorest families, COVID-outreach supports, home-delivery of food to the most at-risk, and case management interventions for enrolled participants. The first two months of the safer-at-home order compelled MEND to create new processes to meet community needs, while working within public health requirements. We moved the massive food distribution process outdoors, and because the lines of people and cars were so long we reached out to the City for traffic police help, engaged onsite security, installed speed bumps, masked up, & ensured walk-up clients were social distanced. We lost most of our volunteers in the early months, and although a core team remained, we were able to ensure successful services by reassigning staff to critical services. Additionally, the food supply chain broke down in the early weeks of COVID. We lost our retail store partners overnight as they struggled to restock their own stores, food donations dropped precipitately, and the National Assoc. of Letter Carriers canceled its Stamp out Hunger campaign which supplies us with a significant amount of food. Because of strong financial stewardship, we were able to quickly purchase food - for the first time in our history. MEND’s previous 3-year strategic plan focused on correcting long-term endemic challenges and restoring the organization back to financial health. It was imperative that MEND return to a place where it could sustain operations and weather storms such as the COVID-19 pandemic. And we achieved this. In fact, we recognize that had we not taken the steps we did, we may not have survived. Subsequently, the lesson of 2020 and our response in the face of COVID-19, is how resilient we and our community are.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community

This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.

Culture & Community Score


out of 100

The score earned by MEND - Meet Each Need with Dignity is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of an organization's Culture and Community by measuring its Constituent Feedback practices (see report below). Constituent Feedback data provides 100% of the basis for the initial evaluation of the Culture & Community Beacon.

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Culture & Community Report


of 100 points

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback

Full Credit

This organization reported that it is collecting feedback.

Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:

How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Paper surveys, Case management notes, Suggestion box/email

How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

With whom does your organization share the feedback you got from the people you serve?

The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners

What challenges does your organization face in collecting feedback from the people you serve?

It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don't have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Briefly describe a recent change that your organization made in response to feedback from the people you serve.

MEND recently underwent a Community Needs Assessment in partnership with the Center for Nonprofit Management completed in Fall 2020. Recommendations included modifying days and hours of service to take into account client work or childcare responsibilities and consideration of expanding program eligibility to those living just above the poverty line. Taking this feedback into account and in light of the pandemic, we eased restrictions on eligibility for the Foodbank so that all who currently are in need may receive critical services, as well as partnered with local organizations to expand the reach and offer diversity in delivery of Emergency Foodbank distribution. Our ultimate goal is to ensure our services are accessible for those that are in need.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.

Charity Navigator awards full credit for this Beacon to every nonprofit that is eligible for an Encompass Rating that completes the survey, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. This data is not evaluated for quality at this time. Validation will be added in future iterations of this Beacon.

Analysis and Research

Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.

Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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