RICHMOND — As U.S. Rep. Mark deSaulnier (D-Concord) paid a visit to the Richmond Emergency Food Pantry on Tuesday, he and a group of local volunteers were thinking beyond how struggling people would put food on the table for the next few days.
“For me to come out here helps me to advocate with my Republican colleagues not to cut the funding for programs like this,” DeSaulnier said shortly before noon on the campus of Grace Lutheran Church, where the all-volunteer pantry distributes food to low-income households from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Tuesday and Friday.
One of the recipients on Tuesday was Sandra, a woman in her early 60s who is currently homeless and spending nights in her car after losing her Section 8 rental support.
“This is the best organized food giveaway,” Sandra said, as she carried away a package of standard food bag items — corn flakes, milk, peanut butter, carrots, green beans, spaghetti sauce, beef stew, dried cranberries, rotini and rice — enhanced with fresh produce.
On Tuesday the produce offering included potatoes, onions, plums, apples and melons. There were some food containers from restaurants and delis. Additionally, there is about 200 to 500 pounds per week of meat, mostly on Fridays, donated by FoodMaxx in San Pablo, frozen on the “sell by” date, said REFP volunteer and board member Janet Bruce.
There is little waste in U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded food programs by comparison, say, to the money wasted by the Defense Department, DeSaulnier said.
During a brainstorming…
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