Special speaker at From the Heart’s January luncheon was Food For the Faithful’s Esther Barragan

FTH monthly luncheons are more than a tasty fundraiser they inform and unite the area’s organizations as they invite other organizations to come share. Jodi Thomas photo
FTH monthly luncheons are more than a tasty fundraiser they inform and unite the area’s organizations as they invite other organizations to come share. Jodi Thomas photo

The special speaker at the From the Heart monthly luncheon in January was Esther Barragan. She is the founder and president of Food for the Faithful a local food bank in Anza. Barragan shared how it all began; how her children loved playing softball, how to keep involved and to be able to arrange life as needed she who volunteered each year to coach her children team for High Country Recreation.

Life brings along many challenges and sadly one year in June 2008, one of her team’s star players, 10-year-old Sal Briseno, nicknamed Babe Ruth, was diagnosed with leukemia.

Barragan and Sal’s mother Christina Soriano were good friends and they both attended the same church and their children over the years went to the same schools, that is the beauty of living in a small town. But life for Christina’s family took one hit after another that year and her friends decided they must do something to help relieve the burdens she bore if they could. So, the plan began with raising money. Soriano was touched by what they were doing but related she was OK money wise.

Now the women wondered what to do with the money they raised. It was decided in Christina’s and Sal’s honor they would take that money go buy food and feed others in need. That is how Food for the Faithful began evolving into the full-fledged nonprofit food bank that helps hundreds of families here in Anza each month.

Food for the Faithful is a nonprofit, nondenominational ministry host at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Anza off Hwy. 371 in the Township of Anza. The last Friday of the month is their regular food giveaway. Food is also given away upon an emergency basis. There is also a free clothes closet. For more information, call Barragan at (951) 763-5636.

FTH’s next luncheon will be a mock Baby Shower for Birth Choice of Temecula Feb. 11, at the Shepard of the Valley Lutheran Church. All baby related presents brought by guests will go to Birth Choice’s program to care for new moms and babies, as well as provide counseling and prenatal care for moms in need. Come hear their special speaker share while enjoying good food, fun and fellowship.

There is no luncheon in March, they are usually on the second Saturday of each month, as it will be FTH’s spring rummage sale to be held at Valley Gospel Chapel March 15, 16, and 17. This is one of their main fundraisers to help economically challenged families get their children off to a good start each school year, have a good Christmas and more. To get involved or to donate call FTH’s President Christi James at (951) 595-2400.

Shepard of the Valley Lutheran Church is located at 56095 Pena Road in Anza off Bahram Road. Valley Gospel Chapel is located at 43275 Chapman Road, in the Terwilliger area of Anza.

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