Every Saturday for the last twenty years, Imperial Beach United Methodist Church has opened its doors to offer a place to eat breakfast and take a shower.
In addition, the church’s Broken Loaf Food Pantry feeds more than 200 families a month. In a community where one-fourth of the residents earn less than $2,000 per month, food is often the last thing families purchase after rent and utilities have been paid. Often there is not enough money left in the budget to feed a family. It is said that man cannot live by bread alone; Imperial Beach UMC recognizes that man cannot live at all without bread.
On Saturday, August 9, 2014, the Imperial Beach Hunger Collaborative kicked off a monthly citywide food drive at Imperial Beach United Methodist Church to stock up on the items it needs to feed the community. The Collaborative is made up of eleven businesses and community organizations in Imperial Beach, each of which will serve as drop-off locations for groceries. The food will continue to be distributed through the pantry at the church. About fifty people attended the celebration; each bringing canned food to the table. The YMCA provided a free lunch, and Cowabunga Ice Cream, the Imperial Beach Women’s Club, Walmart, and the Wave Café donated prizes.
The goal of Saturday’s kick off was to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in Imperial Beach and to offer opportunities for the residents to work together to help their neighbors in need. The County Health and Human Services Department handed out cookbooks and recipes for making affordable meals. The Imperial Beach Community Clinic also informed attendees about its programs that provide low-income residents with high quality care, both organizations underscoring the fact that food security is just one part of creating a healthier community in Imperial Beach.
“We are a grace-laden place,” said Rev. John Griffin, Pastor of Imperial Beach United Methodist Church. Certainly, the Broken Loaf Food Pantry plays an important part in extending that grace to his community.
For more information and to find out how you can help, contact Pastor John at (619) 424-5181
Submitted by Susan Naslund