With the approaching summer season comes a tapering off of food donations that the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission desperately needs to keep helping local families.
“Typically this time of year, donations start to dwindle as the holidays are behind us and people are thinking about their summer vacations,” the Rescue Mission’s Chief Program Officer Bill Riemer explained.
He added that the down economy has compounded the situation.
“People who were once donating food are now recipients.”
Since the program began, the Rescue Mission’s Food Box program has given approximately 5,000 pounds of food to hungry families and provided more than 478,000 meals last year alone.
In addition to non-perishable food donations, the Rescue Mission is in need of a 2,000 to 10,000 square foot warehouse space so it can store and sort food and assemble the food boxes for distribution.
“If we had storage space with refrigeration, it would allow us to handle even more food, especially from supermarkets,” Riemer said.
Due to the fact that several days lapse in-between when people pick up the food boxes, the food would likely spoil.
Organizers ask that people who can donate, bring any non-perishable food items such as peanut butter, canned meat, canned fruit, pasta and pasta sauce to the food bins located at Rancho Community Church, located at 313000 Rancho Community Way in Temecula.
Food boxes are given out from 5 p.m.- 6 p.m. on Wednesday evenings at Calvary Chapel Church in Murrieta and from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursdays at Rancho Community Church in Temecula.
“We give out around 100 food boxes in Murrieta and roughly 125 food boxes in Temecula each week,” Riemer said. “The Temecula volunteers say they have been seeing about six new families a week in need of food.”
In addition to food and warehouse space, the Temecula/Murrieta Rescue Mission is always in need of volunteers.
“Anyone interested in volunteering can learn about us and sign up on our website, it’s very easy,” Riemer explained.
Stephanie D. Schulte is a writer/photographer with SWRNN. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.