Gary Sharman, assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel Mountain Center, oversees The Food Ministry that happens from 1-2 p.m. every Thursday at the church, 29375 Highway 243. For eight years, Calvary Chapel Mountain Center has helped individuals and families keep their cupboards and refrigerators stocked with food.
“I think because of word of mouth, we’ve increased pretty dramatically lately. We sign up new people every week. We have about 50-60 cars with about 150-200 people per week,” Sharman said.
Volunteers go down to Western Eagle in Temecula to pick up produce, dry goods, ice cream, cottage cheese, bread and other quality food. According to their website, The Western Eagle Foundation is Southern California's largest food bank distribution center, providing expertise in collecting and distributing food and clothing to over 60 Southern California cities. Through a network of more than 500 donors, Western Eagle collects dried and canned foods, as well as fresh produce and dairy products.
On average, Calvary Chapel gives four bags of food to each family.
“The food is top of the line. I would say it’s well over $100 worth of food for each family,” Sharman told the Town Crier. “It helps everyone who comes through. People have voiced that they rely on that to keep their cupboards full.”
There was a rumor that Calvary Chapel Mountain Center was being charged to pick up and deliver the food, but it was only a rumor. Sharman said: “It’s been free for us and free for those receiving it. All are welcome to come down with no questions asked.”
If you are in need of food every week — or maybe only once a month — The Food Ministry is there to help you.