In its continuing efforts to serve the homeless population and needy in Orange County, Stanbridge College has created a new partnership with Free Pantry Organization in Costa Mesa. Every fourth Saturday of the month, the Free Pantry Organization provides over 8,500 lbs of free groceries and fresh food as a healthy food alternative to those in need in the community at the Lighthouse Ministries. Homeless, low-income and elderly families and individuals are able to select a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as other goods such as dry food, frozen meals, ground beef, canned goods and laundry detergent.
Each month, Stanbridge College REACH – Beyond the Classroom™ Service Learning and Civic Engagement initiative donates food and encourages its students and staff to volunteer at Lighthouse Ministries to aid those in need. Volunteers at the Free Pantry help sort, bag, and distribute free groceries and household items to the public.
Payal Shah, Stanbridge College Occupational Therapy Assistant student and REACH volunteer, explained that during her volunteer experience at the Free Pantry she was surprised at the amount of compassion and gratitude.
“I was very touched to be there,” stated Ms. Shah. “I was bagging green beans, onions, cabbage and cucumbers. I was handing out these veggies and once we were running low in the bags I had to start bagging more of them quickly. All the people there were very kind and cheerful. It was nice to see them not being greedy, they would only take what they wanted and how much, they wouldn’t take more food because they said others may need it too. All in all, it was a good experience and I was amazed to see what I did.”
Continue to REACH:
To volunteer at the Free Pantry Organization with Stanbridge College REACH in December, please visit: www.stanbridge.edu/reach.
To learn more about the Free Pantry Organization, please visit www.thefreepantry.com.