Our Neediest Cases: Food Pantry Seeks Gift Cards During Holiday Turkey Shortage
by Maureen McNair
Bob, who is physically disabled, lives in a two bedroom mobil home he rents with four strangers in south Chula Vista.
When Consuela’s son was born disabled, her husband left the family. She continues to care for her teenage son as a single parent and is their sole support.
Food prices are just too high for Manuel, who works full time, to pay rent and feed his wife and four children.
Last Saturday, our South Bay Food Pantry had its busiest food distribution to date. We broke the 200 families mark for the first time and gave away food to 204 heads of household.
Last year, on the Saturday before last Thanksgiving, our South Bay Food Pantry provided food for over 190 families. We had 20 turkeys to give them. This year, there is a turkey shortage. So, we anticipate securing even fewer turkeys for our food distributions before Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, just to complicate matters, Christmas happens to fall on a Saturday — our regular distribution day — this year. So, the pantry will be closed and won’t be putting as much food into the community as we usually do.
The food pantry volunteers would like to give these families — and many more — a holiday turkey. But, it does not look like that will happen much this year. Feeding San Diego, the region’s largest food bank, has no turkeys at all. The other regional food bank, the San Diego Food Bank, has over 12,000 requests already. We will be lucky if we are allowed to buy 10 of them.
That’s where you come in!
The food pantry volunteers would like to give our neediest households a gift card to a grocery story near our pantry so each family can buy their own turkey.
If you would like to donate a turkey gift certificate, we are suggesting a $25 designated donation. Please just follow this link firstuusandiego.org/donations.html
and note the donation is for a “Food Pantry gift card.” Or, you may mail a check made payable to FUUSD. Please write “Food Pantry gift card” on the memo line. Please mail checks to Robie Evans, First UU Church of San Diego, 4190 Front St., San Diego, CA 92103.
Our volunteers will use your donations to purchase gift cards at the grocery stores nearest our South Bay Food Pantry. (Some grocery stores which appear to be chains, such as Sprouts, are actually individually owned. That’s why we prefer to purchase the gift cards ourselves, so the cards are usable at the stores nearest our pantry.)
Addressing food insecurity is a grass roots social justice issue that is putting our congregation at the front of activism in south Chula Vista. We all thank you for your continued generosity. I look forward to sharing stories with you about the gift card distribution you make possible!
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