Local food distribution group needs refrigerated storage
By Emily Sorensen
Family and Friends Community Connection (FFCC), which provides, among their many services, food donations to many local families in need, is seeking help with storage.
Their food program, which has been running for approximately eight years, has always relied on donations, said Becky Palenske of FFCC, usually from non-perishable food drives held by schools, churches and scouting troops. Three or four different churches also donate monthly, budgeted amounts to help FFCC purchase needed food from the San Diego Food Bank and North County Food Bank.
The FFCC has recently partnered with Albertsons in Rancho Penasquitos and Trader Joe’s in Carmel Mountain Ranch, making fresh food and milk available to the receiving families for the first time. However, this comes with a storage dilemma. “Now we have fresh food, but we don’t have storage for it,” said Palenske, who noted that the group is also always looking for non-perishable food storage as well.
Palenske and the FFCC are searching for refrigerated and freezer storage in or near Rancho Penasquitos for the third Monday of every month (or sooner) until the fourth Thursday of every month. “The need is immediate. We’d like to be able to store food from Monday June 18 (or sooner) to Thursday, June 21,” Palenske wrote in an email.
For the last few years, the food program has served roughly 60 families in Rancho Penasquitos and 60 families in Poway, referred to them by the Poway Unified School District. They provide food services at several locations, and even provide home delivery to low-income senior housing and others who can’t get to the distribution sites in Poway, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos and Carmel Mountain Ranch. “We also partner with schools to do [food] pick-ups there,” said Palenske.
The food distribution program also partners with a church in Rancho Penasquitos for “Summer Lunch Bunch,” where families participating in the food distribution program can get a meal, activities and food distribution twice a week for almost the whole summer, with a hot meal being served on Mondays and a sack lunch on Thursdays.
FFCC has also formed a partnership with a number of gardening groups, which provide the families in need with fresh food. The Backyard Gardening Project and the Giving Garden, both in Poway, are working in partnership with FFCC and donate freshly grown food. The Backyard Produce Project also forms volunteer picking crews to go into our neighbor’s backyards who are unable to pick their own fruit trees. FFCC is also working with two Poway Unified School District school gardens, at Rolling Hills Elementary School and Black Mountain Middle School, which also donate fresh food to the program.
For more information on the Backyard Produce Project and how you can help, contact email@example.com.
If you have storage space you would like to donate to the Family and Friends Community Connection’s food distribution program, or have ideas for it, contact Becky Palenske at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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