Desert Manna helped through community effort
For 23 years, Desert Manna has worked to end hunger and homelessness in our community. Currently, we provide food assistance through our food pantry and the USDA surplus food commodities program to over 800 households a month. In addition, we provide over 2,000 lunches and dinners to the public each month. Since October 2011, the number of households seeking food assistance from Desert Manna has doubled. At the same time, Inland Empire food banks' supplies are running low.
We want to thank the National Letter carriers Association for their annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive which happened on May 12th. The generous people in our community donated over 7,300 pounds of nonperishable food to this drive which restocked our pantry. Without this food, Desert Manna would have to turn away families in need of food assistance.
We also want to thank Supervisor Brad Mitzelfeft and Supervisor Neil Derry for securing funding for Desert Manna's food programs. Supervisor Mitzelfelt was able to secure $20,000 in county funding for Desert Manna. This funding will be used to purchase a refrigerated truck. With this truck, Desert Manna will be able to pick up fresh, refrigerated, and frozen food for our food programs.
Supervisor Derry was able to secure $5,000 in county funding which will be used to purchase supplies for our annual Summer Sack Lunch for Kids program. This program, which is in its third year, provides free sack lunches to low-income kids in our community during the summer months. A majority of kids in the Barstow Unified School District receive free or reduced cost breakfasts and lunches during the school year. But with no school during the summer, many of them will go hungry. The program will begin on June 11th this year and we need volunteers to prepare and deliver lunches and donations of supplies.
With the help of our elected officials and the support of our community, Desert Manna will continue its fight to end hunger in our community. Thank you again to all of the people who help and support us.