- Health, Wellness & Sports
- Equality Directory
SAN DIEGO -- While the summer months are typically a difficult time for food pantries that rely on donations from the community to serve their clients, Mama's Kitchen is hoping that San Diegans will consider donating to its pantry program this July while celebrating special events like the Fourth of July and LGBT pride.
Mama's Pantry, which is a service of Mama's Kitchen, provides a nutritional shopping opportunity at no cost for men, women and children of San Diego County affected by HIV/AIDS.
"The month of July is a time of celebration of independence, whether it's July 4th and the birth of the United States, or gay pride festivities," said Alberto Cortes, executive director of Mama's Kitchen.
To play off of this, Mama's Kitchen will launch "Independence from Hunger," an initiative to encourage the public to host food drives during the month of July, to ensure the pantry shelves are full with nutritious non-perishable food items. Throughout the month, local businesses, schools, places of worship and social clubs are encouraged to host one or more of the iconic red barrels to collect food for San Diegans in need.
"These donations will help us ensure that we can continue our mission of providing the basic necessity of life - nutritious food - and help our clients maintain some semblance of independence as they don't need to worry about where their next meal is coming from," Cortes said.
The organization hopes to collect 100 barrels of food for Mama's Pantry throughout the month-long campaign. Those who wish to have a barrel at their venue can request to have one delivered and picked up when it is full. A customizable wish list of the non-perishable food items will be provided to participating groups to use for promotion.
Those interested in supporting the campaign can check out Mama's Kitchen's online toolkit that provides ideas to help show American spirit and turn a celebration into a "party with a purpose". The organization has provided suggestions for collecting donations, including Fourth of July firework viewing parties and BBQs, cocktail parties, dinner parties and wine tastings.
"Any get together is a great time to ask guests to bring three to five non-perishable food items or a financial donation for Mama's Pantry," Mama's Kitchen officials said.
A number of local businesses and organizations have already signed-on to the program and have events and collections planned including the La Jolla Playhouse's July 28 "Out & About" production of "Sleeping Beauty Wakes" with a portion of the ticket price benefiting Mama's Kitchen (use code "mama2266)"; and non-perishable food drives at Ralph's Hillcrest and Ralph's Mission Valley on Sundays, July 3 and July 17 from 9 am to 3:30 pm.