More than 400 children and adults from throughout Southwest Riverside County -- including 35 families from Menifee -- took part in a Christmas party Saturday at the Western Eagle Foundation food bank in Temecula.
Western Eagle, the largest food bank and food assistance center in Southern California, provides low-cost food boxes and many other discount items year-round to anyone who walks through the door. On this day, however, a few hundred people who registered in advance were treated to Christmas gifts and photo time with Santa Claus.
Johnson estimated that more than 1,000 people showed up on Saturday for the party or to shop in the store, which features aisles full of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy items, virtually every type of grocery item and all kinds of furniture, books and other things.
For $25, customers can buy a large box full of dry box food items, including vegetables, rice and beans and cereal, plus a box of dairy items. Other items are offered a huge discount prices. There is no income verification needed to shop there.
"There are many people we partner with to make this happen," Johnson said. "It's done out of love."