Part of the whole holiday experience involving celebration and cheer revolves around being with family, and of course, eating food. For some local families the luxury of a festive feast, or any meal for that matter, is beyond what they can afford.
To ensure every household enjoys a holiday meal this coming Christmas, the Community Cupboard stepped in and created prepackaged holiday meals for in-need families to pick up on a designated distribution day. Beginning bright and early on Saturday morning December 17, pre-approved cars lined up behind the Cupboard to collect their grocery bag of food.
Over twenty Key Club volunteers from Paloma Valley High School orchestrated the one-day distribution, loading each car as it pulled up to the orange cones with a prepackaged bag of feast fixing and a frozen turkey or two. The process was extremely well organized, with each hand off taking less than two minutes.
Dawn Prather of the Community Cupboard, shared their secret to speedy success, "In order to serve as many people as possible, qualifying families were given a card and a designated pick-up time prior to the Saturday distribution."
A typical bag contained non-perishable items including green beans, potatoes, cranberries, gravy and stuffing mix, boxed brownies, and various other goodies. Most of the turkeys given out were provided by Pechanga Casino's generous donation last month.
The Cupboard accommodated over 450 families throughout the day, while a second distribution location at the Menifee Valley Masonic Lodge handed out just over one hundred meals. The Masonic Lodge volunteered not only their location, but collected all of the food donations they distributed that day as well.
Families receiving the meals were overwhelmingly thankful, some even getting out of their vehicles to thank the volunteers. And in true holiday spirit, as each car drove out of sight, a chorus of voices shouted a "Merry Christmas" send off in joyful unison. It was the absolute truest form of service with a smile.