BARSTOW • Desert Manna received $25,000 in county funding Wednesday at its Health and Information Fair, with both Barstow-area county supervisors arriving to present them with checks. The money, though, comes from a source that will soon run dry for good, as the county faces a budget shortfall.

The discretionary funds, which came from accounts allocated to individual supervisors, still had to be approved by the entire county board. But they have come in handy for unexpected purchases over the years, Desert Manna Executive Director Sheri Randolph said, like when her organization needed to purchase frozen turkeys for Thanksgiving.

"It's not something that they really need government to help them with," 1st District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt said, "but it's nice when the city and the county can do that."

The financial gifts Wednesday will provide support for a popular program and allow the group to purchase a used refrigerated truck.

Mitzelfelt provided $20,000 for the truck, which Randolph said Desert Manna needs to obtain frozen or perishable foods. Third District Supervisor Neil Derry kicked in another $5,000 to cover operating expenses at the organization, which Randolph said would go towards the Summer Sack Lunch program. That program provides healthy lunches for students when school is shut down for the summer.

But with the impending cuts, "It's one less place that we can go to when we need funding," Randolph said.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4126 or