“In the United States, more than one out of five children lives in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in this condition – unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life. In 2009, the top five states with the highest rate of food insecure children under 18 are the District of Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, Arkansas, & Texas. [Twenty percent] or more of the child population in 40 states and D.C. lived in food insecure households in 2009,” according to Feeding America.
“In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 6 people in the United States, hunger is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different. Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.” Food pantries or food banks step in to help meet this need.
Our Food Pantry
The Helping Hands Pantry food pantry is where we serve the public with free food seven days a week, 362 days a year (closed New Years, Thanksgiving, and Christmas) – over 1000 people a day! We have several partners who provide food and money and a will to help those in need.
Inland Orange Conservancy writes, “Toward the end of the 2005 Valencia orange season, the Inland Orange Conservancy noticed that low-income people were going hungry in the same neighborhoods where groves heavily laden with oranges were left unpicked. The fruit was simply left to rot because growers would have to pay more to harvest it than they would make by selling it….To waste such an abundance of tasty citrus seemed like a shame….The IOC sprang into action, asking for volunteers to pick, pack, and deliver the fruit to those in need.”
Helping Hands Pantry does not have a soup kitchen, but we do have a mobile food bank that goes to feed homeless and starving men, women, seniors, and displaced or needy families called Living on the Streets that makes several stops in the area.
For our pantry’s hours of distribution at our Norton Distribution Center on Third Street in San Bernardino, please visit our Pantry page.
Other Opportunities to Contribute
If you are a gardener, and your garden has produced more than you can use, we will gladly accept donations of your overflow at our warehouse. We also appreciate the volunteer efforts of community gardeners at our Judson garden and Chestnut Garden in Redlands.
If you, a scout troop, a church group, a school or college group, or a community group would like to volunteer in our two vegetable gardens, or put together bags of groceries at our warehouse in San Bernardino just south of the 10 freeway, or hand out food at our distribution center, or help our charity in any other capacity, please be sure to visit our Volunteer page and let us know.
If you are a business or individual who would like to make a donation of food or clothing, or vehicles/land/property for sale to support our pantry, or would like to talk about Planned Giving, please be sure to visit our Donate page. We will be happy to answer all your questions.
The Inland Empire has a very high population of homeless and men, women, children and families living in poverty, and we would like to feed them all. Your donations and volunteering are desperately needed in order to help those in your community who are having a tough time of it. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so your donations may be tax-deductible (speak to your tax professional). Won’t you please contact us today?