November is a fitting time for a closer look at how we’re working toward “an Orange County where every person is healthy and thriving.” As we prepare for Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (November 16-24) and Thanksgiving, we’re sharing how we’re Doing More to make this vision a reality through our partnerships.
Today, 1 out of 6 children in our community is at risk of hunger every month. That’s one too many. Our community’s high cost of living, healthcare and under-employment mean many parents are forced to choose between paying for food or rent.
We’re thankful for our partnership with Wells Fargo and their generous grant that has helped support our Healthy Food Provision program throughout the year. With this grant, more local individuals and families gained access to fresh fruits, vegetables and nutritious food at pantries located at schools and pop-up farmers’ markets. There are even several mobile food pantries that reach people across our community who live in places where wholesome food is unavailable or unaffordable.
Wells Fargo and other caring partners such as OC Food Bank and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, as well as many supportive individuals make it possible for Orange County United Way to help community members like Sandra, an Orange County mother.
Sandra lived in a state of constant worry about feeding her family as they often ran out of food by the end of the week and had to miss meals. Sandra couldn’t bear the thought of sending her children to school without breakfast or lunch.
Regular access to a food pantry near their home made a world of difference. It means that now, Sandra has enough to feed her children every day, and she can even make lunches to take to work. She says, “We get great produce that my family needs to stay healthy and for my children to grow.”
Orange County United Way’s Healthy Food Provision program takes a community approach to feed residents through innovative initiatives. Food banks and pantries are strengthened and sustained through grants like the one from Wells Fargo, so fewer Orange County children and families face food insecurity.
By making this effort a top priority, Wells Fargo has transformed so many lives for the better. The results are positive and measurable: Thanks to their help, this year close to 180,000 OC households were able to receive almost 6 million pounds of fruits and vegetables, creating nearly 5 million meals.
We can do even more with your help. As the holidays and Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week approach, please join us in making it possible for every child and adult in Orange County to have enough healthy food to eat every day.