Food giveaway replaces items spoiled by power outage

Dec 19, 2019 | Uncategorized

Staff Writer

Crestline and Valley of Enchantment residents were the beneficiaries of the generosity of the Inland Empire Community Collaborative, along with Mountain Counseling and Training, First Baptist Church, Mountain Homeless Coalition and the Mountain Help groups, and Navidad en el Barrio, who coordinated to help the mountain community for the fourth year by sending over 400 bags of food to the Crestline community on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The recent storm affected many residents, who had to throw out most of their refrigerated items spoiled by the widespread power outage during the Thanksgiving weekend snowstorm. Many of those affected were able to come to the food giveaway and get some free replacements. It was not expected to cover all losses, but to assist those who wanted it.

They were giving away frozen, cut-up chicken, a bag filled with fresh produce such as mangos, bags of oranges and lemons, Brussel sprouts, mini-tomatoes, persimmons and cheese. There was refrigerated chorizo meat with corn tortillas, rice, cheese, canned vegetables and soups. At the food distribution at Higher Grounds Coffee Company, there were additional cans of food, including canned chicken and turkey meats and a wider variety of canned vegetables and soups and dry goods.

Since the food was for anyone, the only question asked was, “How many in the family?” Some larger families got two sets of the food. They encouraged those who had friends or neighbors in need to take an extra bag for them.
Overall, the initial delivery was for 300 families, with a second delivery for 100 more.

“We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this all possible,” said Michael Beavers of Mountain Counseling. Volunteers, Beavers said, included the Inland Empire Community Collaborative, a collection of over 50 nonprofits across the Inland Empire. Other volunteers who helped included Paul Fournier and Becky Beavers of the Mountain Homeless Coalition; Gaston Maya, president of the Crestline-Lake Gregory Rotary Club; William Mellinger, pastor of the Crestline First Baptist Church; Kelly Gmeiner-Trisotto; Tyler Glenn and Shauna Miranda of Mountain Counseling & Training; Gary Bancroft of ECV and the Rim of the World Historical Society. These people and groups spent their time in the foggy weather putting together the food bags at Gateway Christian Church in San Bernardino and then driving them up to Crestline.

“Many of the volunteers are connected though the Crestline Connect networking meetings held Wednesday mornings at the Bear House in Top Town Crestline,” said Mellinger, who added, “Without these volunteers it wouldn’t have been possible, I am very grateful to each of them.”

Most of the bags were given out on Saturday at the Mountain Counseling Center and at Higher Grounds Coffee in Lake Gregory Village, with the remaining couple dozen bags given out to the community on Sunday afternoon at Higher Grounds Coffee Company. The initial information was given to the community through fliers from the food banks and through several Facebook pages. The second day of giveaways was advertised on Facebook and the remaining bags of food were quickly distributed to many grateful families.



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