The Hunger Ministry has seen an exponential increase in food insecurity during September. Check out September 2020 by the numbers in the infographic above.
Where do we get the food?
We receive donations from our congregation and Second Harvest Food Bank of OC. We also rescue food from two Walmart Neighborhood Market #3099 and Market #3101. Each week volunteers drive to these locations to pick up the food. We pick up almost 2,000 pounds of food between these three locations. Our congregation helps supply boxes, bags, and other items that we do not receive from Second Harvest or Walmart.
What kinds of food donations do we receive?
Our Hunger Ministry is blessed to get fresh produce, deli items, frozen meals, bread, baked goods, frozen meat, bottled water, and even food for pets from the local Walmart Markets. Second Harvest has provided fresh eggs, fresh tortillas, fresh produce, frozen hams, canned vegetables, dry beans, pasta, canned proteins, canned fruits, milk, snacks, cereal, oats, and much more.
When does the volunteer work happen?
Saturday or Sunday, volunteers fold and tape boxes for our food packers.
Tuesday, volunteers pack 50 boxes and about 15 bagged lunches.
Wednesday, volunteers pick-up 2,000~ pounds of food. They sort and weigh the donations (for reporting). Food is then put away in its appropriate location. East Building is set-up for distribution.
Thursday, volunteers distribute the boxes, bags, and fresh items.
How is the Hunger Ministry of AUMC funded?
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County continues to be a dedicated partner in the fight to end food insecurity. As mentioned in previous articles, we use to purchase food in bulk for 15 cents or less per pound. Second Harvest has now moved to a no-cost model. Now that food is free, we can assist more people.
At the end of August, Second Harvest contacted us about their food rescue program. We felt it would be a great way to expand our hunger ministry. We have partnered with a Walmart Neighborhood Market and less than two weeks later, a second one. This food is also at no cost since we are helping to divert the food from the landfill. New shipments, imperfections, overstock, or best used by dates are the most common reasons to discard.
The final line of support is from the congregation. From your contributions to the church’s work to your donation of items, your generosity abounds and leads us to expand our support of the surrounding community and congregation.
Our community will likely experience another exponential increase in food insecurity due to the recent announcement of Disneyland and California Adventure layoffs. These layoffs will have a ripple effect throughout our city and county. Even before this announcement, Anaheim had a 14% unemployment rate, plus another 6% underemployed.
The Provisions team is currently exploring the ability to add a late afternoon or early evening distribution time. We know that it would help families or individuals who may be working during our daytime pick-up.
How can I help?
There are so many ways you can be a part of this vitally necessary ministry. Here are a few:
- SAVE your plastic shopping bags and drop them off at the church on Thursdays from 1 pm until 2 pm. We use these to bag the additional fresh or frozen items.
- DONATE to Missions/Outreach. A donation of $50 will purchase packing supplies for a week.
- SHARE this link to the short registration form on your social media or tell friends to visit our website and click on the Food Pantry section on the homepage.
- VOLUNTEER your time. You can do some tasks alone or tasks with 1-2 other masked and socially distanced volunteers.