For many years SaddleBrooke Community Outreach (SBCO) conducted a spring food drive throughout our community, benefiting a variety of area food banks. We now direct our efforts to the Tri-Community Food Bank (TCFB) based in Mammoth, serving people in Mammoth, San Manuel and Oracle.
Why? This is an area of chronic poverty with little support for any of their programs. A Mammoth resident confided in me that everyone in their town was receiving some type of government aid. When the mines closed in 1999 the people who could leave for a better opportunity did so. Many had no way to access another way of life. Businesses shut down, schools consolidated, job opportunities were non-existent, etc. In the Mammoth Elementary School 98% of the kids are eligible for the government free/reduced lunch program.
By law, a food bank can only supply one food box per month with enough provisions to last the eligible recipient(s) for three days. What happens for the other 28 days? A local food bank can make a few things available. Bashas’ in Catalina provides TCFB with dated food items, an occasional birthday cake and bread products. What we collect in our annual Food Drive helps to supplement the food boxes. Your help is needed to continue to provide that support.
How does the TCFB operate? Like SBCO it is 100% volunteer with a Board of Directors overseeing the operation. Included on this Board are several SaddleBrooke residents. Many of the volunteers are also clients. There is a modest thrift shop offering a variety of clothing and household items at much reduced prices.
What can you do? Support the March 25 food drive. Do this by either leaving a bag of nonperishable food on your driveway at the appointed time and/or consider a financial contribution which will be sent directly to TCFB. Our kids need your support – they can’t learn much in school on an empty stomach. Our seniors need your support – their lives are challenging enough without wondering where their next meal might be eaten. Families need you; you boost their self-esteem and give them hope.
More news will follow.