Condensing Unit for Walk-In Freezer (2017-2018)
St. Elizabeth Food Pantry operates as a 501c3 organization through St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, which began serving the community in 1985 by providing members of low-income households with perishable and nonperishable food items. The church community has supported this program by contributing funds during the monthly collection at Mass and food items to the Food Pantry regularly. St. Elizabeth Food Pantry now organizes a team of 30 volunteers who work weekly stocking, organizing and distributing food and hot meals. We provide food to an average of 66 families each week from five neighboring communities: North Palm Springs, Sky Valley, Thousand Palms, Palm Springs, and Cathedral City. The Food Pantry partners with Feeding America Riverside, as a site for Distribution of the California Drought Food Assistance Program (DFAP) every first Saturday of the month. We partner with FIND (Food In Need of Distribution) Food Bank as a site for the Summer Youth Lunch Program serving youth in our community twice a month. We invest in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables by purchasing items from FIND that contain components of a nutritionally balanced meal.
We serve the community on the first three Tuesdays of the month between the hours of 8:00-10:30am. On the last Monday of the month and during Thanksgiving week, a hot dinner is served from 5:00pm-8:00pm to anyone who may need a warm meal. Fresh fruits and vegetables are distributed during this time. About 450 families are provided with a turkey dinner with all the fixings at Christmas. Food Pantry Director Terry Sanchez works closely with Father Khan Ngo, the pastor of St. Elizabeth, who ensures the Food Pantry’s work is in accordance with the vision of the diocese. This program is necessary for socioeconomic reasons: Desert Hot Springs has a population of about 27,912 people with 34.9% living at or below poverty level. The average household size is 3 with the percentage of family households in Desert Hot Springs at 66.8%. With this funding from ACF, the St. Elizabeth Food Pantry will upgrade the condensing unit for its walk-in freezer, allowing for more families to access a sustainable supply of food.