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Why do we need another Food Bank in Orange County?

April 3, 2013

Folks,
I am pleased to announce RSM & surrounding communities will soon have a new additional Food Pantry to help supplement the fine work that San Francisco Solano, SC Outreach, and other lesser known ministries/agencies do for our communities.

Why do we need another food bank you might ask?
The fact is, there is perception & reality.  My research & hands-on experience over the last 20+ months proves that there is a new kind of poor/ needy in our communities.

  • The single mom with 2 kids,
  • The under-employed family scraping to get by.
  • The unemployed men or women who’s EDD have completely run out.
  • The senior that can’t make it on Social Security, &
  • The often forgotten about Elderly.

Did you know that Second Harvest supports over 427 ministries/ agencies/ & shelters just in Orange County?! YES Orange County folks!  I am not merely talking about Santa Ana, Orange, Costa Mesa or Anaheim.  I am referring to RSM, Mission Viejo, SJC, Newport Coast, Laguna Beach. There is an underground of proud people just trying to get by that are living out of their cars,  renting out rooms in their homes, fighting foreclosure, bankruptcy, mounting debt & doing what ever possible to make ends meet.

The 2 biggest issues are:

1)  Most people do not know these resources exist & are available to them at no cost. There is no Marketing Budget to get the word out from all these independent organizations.  Many folks are simply too proud to ask for charity or embarrassed to receive food.

2)  The vast majority of our local business & community leaders Do NOT know / understand…
a) the needs of people,
b) that such resources are readily available. (The RSM Chamber of Commerce had NO idea there was/ has been a Food Bank in town for 20 years!  Now they do!)   When people do realize there is a problem, many folks want to help make a difference. Will you?

I totally support the philosophy of… “Give a man a fish, feed him today, Teach him to fish, feed him for life.”   Over the past 2 years however I have volunteered for our Food Bank & helped at 2nd Harvest & the Council on Aging for Orange County.  People are proud, humbled, & overwhelmed. Most Food Banks only allow families to visit once month.  The SFS Food Bank provides food to folks every week! This is awesome, But that is NOT enough.

For the past 2 years, I have personally hauled anywhere from 300 lbs to 1500 lbs of fresh food per week from 2nd harvest to our SFS Food Bank.  It is a drop in the bucket.  Every week is a crap shoot. I never know what we will get for the hungry. When this is distributed to the 70-100+ families that come every week, they get less than 4 days of food for a family of 5 – if they are lucky.

So please stop & think – consider just 2 things… for just a second…
1) Do I have to worry about where my family’s next meal is coming from? –  If you say “Yes”, we can help!
2) How blessed am I, compared to others!  How can I help them?

There is a definite problem.

But I have a great solution!

For $200 we will get 10,000 lbs of food from Second Harvest delivered to the Food Bank’s door with a program called “Mobile Pantry”! Over 50% of it will be Fresh Produce!  This is unheard of at most food banks. I don’t ever want to hear someone say, “we do enough.” Their bellies are not empty.  10,000 lbs of food will easily feed over 500 people for a week!  We initially do not expect enough needy people to know about this Food Bank. It will take time. I have spoken to the following ministries/ agencies that welcome our support:

  • Isiah House / The Catholic Worker,
  • SOS of Costa Mesa,
  • St Michael’s Abbey,
  • St Killians,
  • Promise Land Ministries in Laguna,
  • FAM of San Clemente,
  • South County Outreach.
  • ARK of RSM,
  • SFS Food Bank is welcome to have this food as well.

All these will accept any excess food we have – they will pick it up or we might need to deliver to them. We will be feeding a great deal of people for $200.   This is the equivalent of 2.5 cent/lb.  This is equal to feeding a family of 5 for a full week at the cost of only $2. 00 Incredible! Amen!

If you are donating to a charity – it is important your contribution is fully used to maximum benefit.  I am making sure this occurs & more folks are fed.

Fellowship In Business has partnered with RSM’s Bell Tower Foundation, The Bridge Church, St John’s Episcopal Church, & Lion’s Heart Teen Service, in addition to other businesses to start this new Fellowship In Business Food Pantry that will serve RSM, MV, Trabuco Canyon, Ladera Ranch, Lake Forest, Foothill Ranch & surrounding communities.

Fellowship In Business Food Pantry starts distribution on Thursday 4/18, at The Bridge Church Parking Lot, 30162 Tomas, in RSM – from 3pm to 6pm.

Fellowship In Business has 2 goals –
1st) To connect business leaders & inspire / promote “Doing Business for the Right Reasons”. (Servant Leadership)

2nd) To create an organization that can subsidize Mobile Pantries across all of Orange County to all 427 agencies on an as needed basis through the contributions & donations of Business & Community Leaders, thereby minimizing the expense of the above smaller underfunded charitable organizations allowing them to get the biggest bang for dollars donated.

We will start the program distribution once a month but eventually plan to make this a weekly event.  We have plans to get the support of local companies, & ideally all Houses of Worship in RSM. This is COMMUNITY ORIENTED. This is Not religious based. We are all God’s Children & we need to feed them all & support each other.

Eventually Fellowship In Business envisions a thriving membership  of executive leaders all focused & accountable to each other , their families & employees to “Do Business for the Right Reasons” – creating ‘win-win’ scenarios in every opportunity.

We need your support in 4 ways. …
1) We need your Prayers!  Please pray for those in need & the success of another avenue of support for these families.
2) We need you to spread the Word!   If you or someone you know needs food, please have them visit  “The Bridge” starting Thursday, 4/18, from 3-6pm
3) We need your hands & smiles to Volunteer at time of food distribution. 3 shifts from 1pm to 6pm – Children are welcome with a parent. Great learning!
4) We need donations from our local businesses & those who want to make a real difference!.

The total budget for 50 weeks is $10,000. 100% of funds goes to Food. 100% volunteer, No Overheads costs!  If a company wants a banner to show they sponsored a event, it will cost an additional $100 (for 2 banners, Food Pantry keeps 1, you get the other one.)  The donor can keep it after the event.  It will not have a date on it.  Donations are Tax deductible! Make checks payable to The Bell Tower Foundation,  23361 Cobblefield,  Mission Viejo, CA 92692.

F.A.M.I.L.Y. = Forget About Me, I Love You

Continued Blessings!

Chris O’Connor

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Monica Parra Alvarez permalink
    July 23, 2013 9:31 PM

    I would like to volunteer in the new Food Bank in R.SM. Where is located and what’s their phone number??? I live in Lake Forest and have plenty of food cans to donate.
    Monica p.

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