By Maureen McNair
A year ago this last Sunday in February, some pantry volunteers shared with the congregants at the Hillcrest campus that our South Bay campus was opening a food pantry. I spent six hours on the Hillcrest campus that day talking to 17 additional people who wanted to volunteer. About two weeks later, the governor issued the ﬁrst stay at home order because of the covid-19 virus. All the volunteers eventually quit except one.
Since then, the South Bay Food Pantry has grown into providing three weekly programs.
We are fulﬁlling our original goal of providing free food to a community experiencing chronic food insecurity. Every week, we give shelf stable nutritious food and fresh produce for hundreds of people. We have sourced and distributed well over 200,000 pounds of food. This food distribution is going strong. Today, we are well staﬀed with volunteers. We continue to serve regular customers and to attract new people each week as well.
We were also invited to partner with the Regional Diaper Bank. We have a tiny distribution one hour a week — on Sunday mornings from 8:15 - 9:15 AM. We provide free diapers for about 75 children each week. If we had more storage space for boxes of diapers, I am certain we could expand our days and hours, and distribute many more diapers than we currently do.
Last, we have recently started a food delivery program for congregants who are experiencing food insecurity and cannot get to the pantry in Chula Vista on their own. We serve less than a handful of households. However, we are honored these families have stepped forward and asked how they can participate with our food distribution.
You have made all of this possible! Your continued generosity keeps all our programs operating. Thank you so so much for your ongoing support.
The First UU Church of San Diego blog is your resource for upcoming events and past event recaps. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!