Organizations and movements evolve over time and this is also true of Helping Hands Pantry. We started out wanting to help our neighbors in need in the local community. Then when we saw how much need there is and how little we were impacting the problem. We made a couple of commitments — to go to where the people who needed us were, and to do all we could not to turn anyone away intentionally or unintentionally. This change in mission led us to moving to the Norton neighborhoods, where some of the greatest need in the country exists, to being open 5 days a week, and making sure that even the last person to come through the door every day got a comparable amount of food to the first who crossed the threshold. This had two major effects; first, wait times went from the typical pantry times of an hour or more to less than ten minutes as people came to realize that they did not have to line up and wait for a long time in order to get food. Secondly, we grew to where we are serving 7,000 to 10,000 people a week.
Now that we are providing for a large percentage of those who are living with food insecurity in our community (perhaps as much as 35%), we have come to a new era where we see that if we can manage this much of the problem with fewer than 200 regular volunteers and about the same number of donors, then we can eliminate the problem of hunger in our neighborhoods just by getting several hundred more people involved.
Together we can end hunger and food insecurity! So our mission could now be summed up in three words “To end hunger.”
We are the only food pantry in the San Bernardino County area open five days a week. Helping Hands Pantry provides many services to the hungry and needy, with a food bank that includes USDA distribution once a month, college and grad student food assistance, help with feeding pets, pantry gardens, a mobile food bank that goes to the homeless, and more. We are committed to assisting our community.
Mission statement: To serve, by providing a place where all in need can come for relief from hunger and find acceptance, while being assisted in finding other resources for their needs.
Helping Hands Pantry is a 501(c)(3) public charity that is here to benefit the community by providing food and other items to those in our community in need.