For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
As we, at St. Bart’s, continue to live into our commitment to serve our congregation and the community around us, we have partnered with Feeding San Diego to begin a Fresh Food Rescue food distribution on our campus, beginning this fall. Feeding San Diego is the leading hunger relief organization in the county. Distributing healthy food with dignity to San Diego residents struggling with hunger. Feeding San Diego welcomes everyone who is struggling with hunger - children, families, seniors, immigrants, employed or underemployed - with no forms to fill out an income requirement to prove. All are welcome - no exceptions.
Sadly, 1 in 8 adults in San Diego experience food insecurity. They do not know where their next meal will come from and if there will be enough money left over at the end of the month for groceries. The 2018 Meal Gap data provided by Feeding San Diego identifies Poway as a region that is not adequately addressing the hunger issues facing its residents. This is where St. Bart’s comes in. By establishing a food distribution site on our campus each week, it’s estimated that we will be serving 50-100 people at each distribution.
Through partnerships with local grocery stores such as Sprouts. Baron’s, Albertson's and Costco, volunteers from St. Bart’s and our community will collect perfectly good food and keep it from going to the landfill. Millions of pounds of food go to our landfills each year in the United States. This healthy food is kept cold and brought to our campus where each week we will set-up a “free grocery store”. Guests will be able to come in and select the items they would like. Just like shopping. Our volunteers will assist and provide a dignified experience to anyone in need.
As reported by ABC News 10, "According to the San Diego Hunger Coalition, 1 in 10 people who go to food banks has a military member in their family. They believe that number is even higher in San Diego where the cost of living can quickly eat through paychecks."
Local agencies report that close to 10 percent of seniors on fixed incomes are struggling with the costs of medicine, rent, and food on a monthly basis. Immigrant families are finding it difficult to find work and assistance in uncertain political times in a new country. There are so many people right in our midst and part of our very own congregation who can benefit from a helping hand and fresh and healthy food with the added benefit of knowing that there are people who care about them and want to help them thrive.
The plan is to offer food distribution on Sunday afternoons in the parish hall beginning at 2 p.m. every Sunday starting October 28. Volunteers from St. Bart’s and the community will work together to pick-up food, set-up and distribute each week. We would love for you to be part of this exciting work There is something for everyone - join us once in a while as your time allows or commit to being here every week or once a month. There are many ways for families to volunteer together to collect or distribute food and your troop, community service group and company team is encouraged to join the team. However it works for you, we hope you’ll be part of this wonderful service to provide this much-needed service.
If your family needs food assistance or if you’d like to be part of the volunteer effort, please reach out to Lisa Marie Oakes or 858-472-0959 for more information. Spread the word!