By Nina D. and Jeff K, South Bay Food Pantry Volunteers
South Bay Food Pantry volunteers were thrilled to learn that the FUUSD Social Justice Executive Team had made the pantry the recipient of the November Generosity Offering. We are deeply grateful for the church’s recognition of our work to address food insecurity in our community, and for all who have donated their time, skills, funds and goods.
Rev. Justine’s and Rev. Omega’s heartfelt support for the pantry’s ministry has brought us new strength and possibilities. Rev. Omega is present at the pantry almost every Saturday and fosters a welcoming and spiritually nurturing environment, responsive to the concerns of volunteers and pantry guests. The brief gatherings she has initiated in the South Bay worship space for our multireligious, multicultural community unite us in powerful spiritual reflection and celebration.
Rev. Omega provides empathic and practical guidance which mitigate the burdens of the work. Saturday distributions can be stressful. Will the food we sourced be sufficient to meet the needs of over 300 families that day? When no meat has been available at the food bank, we must consider what other protein sources might be provided. Will there be enough volunteers for the day? What can we do to help the unhoused guest who arrives with an injured puppy he can’t afford to bring for urgent veterinary care? Who can deliver food to a volunteer from the community who is too ill with a chronic illness to come for her family’s food? Rev. Omega’s help with these and other questions makes our load lighter.
While partnerships with the San Diego Food Bank, Feeding San Diego, Chula Vista Rotarians, the City of Chula Vista and local businesses help sustain the work of the pantry, we could not survive without the ongoing support of our FUUSD congregation. Thank you to all who are keeping the pantry going! Your donations are especially important and appreciated with the upcoming holidays, when we hope to provide guests with grocery gift cards to help offset their celebration expenses.
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