New Permanent School Pantry Opens on School Campus

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Second Harvest Food Bank Opens Permanent School Pantry at Pacific Drive Elementary in Fullerton

Partnering with Project Hope Alliance, Pantry will Provide Free Groceries and Resources to Community Where 80 Percent of Children Receive Free or Reduced-Price School Lunches

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County will open their fourth Permanent School Pantry at a ribbon cutting on April 30 at 10:30 a.m. at Pacific Drive Elementary in Fullerton, California. The newest weapon to fight hunger in Orange County, the Permanent School Pantry is an appointment-only mini-mart providing free, fresh and nutritious groceries to families in need.

The space for the pantry, called “Dolphin Market,” was provided by Pacific Drive Elementary. Ongoing support will be provided by Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and Project Hope Alliance. The location for the new pantry was strategically selected to serve a community where 80 percent of children rely on free or reduced-price school lunches. The location on the school campus will be able to serve up to 240 people a week, available not only to families whose children attend the school, but also to anyone in the neighborhood. Families and individuals may bring a Dolphin Market reusable bag to fill with any items they choose, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, and nonperishable items once a week. 

“Partnering with our local schools to provide fresh, nutritious food at a familiar, convenient location where parents and children already are, is important to us,” said Harald Herrmann, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. “Opening the pantry in North Orange County where there is a great need is a strategic step in helping those working parents, growing children, as well as seniors and the disabled in the surrounding community, who are too often going hungry.” 

Second Harvest is partnering with Project Hope Alliance, who will staff Dolphin Market with a Resource Specialist responsible for overseeing the pantry and the volunteers who will assist with distributions. Project Hope Alliance will also provide resources to homeless families to support their transition into more stable living situations. Partnering with school districts and other nonprofits to provide food and resources to community members, including students, is one of the many ways Second Harvest is tackling the issue of hunger in Orange County, where 117,000 children experience food insecurity. The national hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, estimates that more than 301,000 Orange County residents are food insecure, which amounts to 10% of the county’s population.

“Access to stable housing and nutritious food, oftentimes, go hand in hand for our kids and families experiencing homelessness. With over 28,000 students experiencing homelessness in Orange County, we look forward to seeing this partnership become a model in more schools across our county,” said Jennifer Friend, CEO of Project Hope Alliance. “We are ready to reach more children and their families as a resource partner and ultimately end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time.”

Second Harvest Food Bank, a member of the Feeding America food bank network, is continuously implementing innovative ways to reach the underserved and hungry. The food bank’s Bold Goal calls for the creation of two more Permanent School Pantries for a total of six by 2021—helping to put Second Harvest on pace to close the meal gap. Access to high quality, nutritious food at convenient and dignified locations is a key way Second Harvest plans to achieve this goal. Other food bank programs targeting the most vulnerable members of our community – children and seniors – include Mobile and Adopt a Pantry, Kids Cafe, Senior Grocery and Park-It Market. 

Dolphin Market will be open Tuesday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., and Fridays from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. and appointments are required to shop. For more information, or to make an appointment to shop at Dolphin Market, visit Pacific Drive Elementary School or call the food bank helpline: 855-233-3362. 

About Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County is the largest nonprofit hunger relief organization in Orange County leading the fight to end hunger for more than 301,000 men, women and children at risk of hunger in our community. Second Harvest distributes donated, purchased and prepared foods through a network of more than 200 partner agencies in locations throughout the county. Last year, Second Harvest provided enough food for a record 25.1 million meals, feeding more than 250,000 people each month. Every dollar donated to Second Harvest helps provide enough food for three meals for the hungry. Second Harvest is a member of Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization. For more information about their work and how you can help, visit FeedOC.org 

About Project Hope Alliance
Project Hope Alliance is a nonprofit organization that seeks to end the cycle of homelessness, one child at a time. Since 1989, PHA has developed and successfully implemented programs that address the unique issues facing children experiencing homelessness which prevent them from realizing their full potential. Their unique and personalized programs empower children with hope and more importantly, with the tools to help them complete their education and ultimately to help them succeed in life. Since 2013 PHA has served over 1200 individuals. For more information about their work and how you can help, visit ProjectHopeAlliance.org

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