Volunteers did not even put out on Broadway our sandwich sign stating “Free Food” in both English and Spanish last Saturday. Nonetheless, we still broke another distribution record. We gave food to 218 heads of household for around 800 people. I have no explanation for the increase in clients, but food prices are rising, so that might be a factor. And, of course, I have no idea how many clients we will serve next Saturday. More? Less? Stay tuned!
Luckily, we had a huge amount of food on hand. We distributed nearly a ton of potatoes, tomatoes, and oranges, over a ton of dry goods, cartons of shelf-stable milk, over 800 pounds of food donated by Starbucks, and a couple hundred pounds of bread. But the star of our show was a under our blue canopy. Smart & Final in Chula Vista donated about 1,500 pounds of ham! A very special thanks goes out to uber-volunteers Jeff Kline and Nina Douglass, who transported all that meat to our pantry from the grocery store. We always tell our volunteers we do not charge for our gym membership. Come join us, if you like!
Before we found out we were receiving such an unusually large donation, the indispensable Valerie Jaques and I also bought about 200 packages of 3-pound servings of ground beef from the San Diego Food Bank. Meat just was hardly available from the weeks prior to Thanksgiving through Christmas. So, after a holiday season in which sources for meat were scarce to non-existent, our pantry clients received a bounty last Saturday. I am speculating, of course, but it seems retailers held onto meat hoping to sell it, then donated it after they could not move it off their shelves. If so, that wasn’t the case last year. And, as I write this, I have no idea whether or not we will be able to source any animal protein for next Saturday.
Thank you all for your continued devotion to our South Bay Food Pantry. I know our volunteers speak about how their service is their food ministry. Thank you for making it possible.
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