The Community Pantry in Hemet with the demand for services and food assistance growing each year will be moving to a new, larger facility, Jan. 2, located at Trinity Lutheran Church.
The Community Pantry has been located at 519 San Jacinto St. in Hemet since 2012 and will make the move to a 5,540-square-foot vacant preschool building behind the church at 191 Columbia St. in Hemet, Jan. 2, Jim Lineberger, the executive director and CEO said.
“As the CEO and executive director for the past six years, I would like to share with those of you who have blessed and supported the Community Pantry since I was hired on July 15, 2011,” Lineberger said in a Community Pantry update. “The Community Pantry has been serving the San Jacinto Valley and surrounding areas since 1965. Most people do not know that our serving area includes the following: Hemet, San Jacinto, Anza, Aguanga, Sage, Idyllwild mountain areas, Lakeview-Nuevo, Winchester and Homeland.”
He said the current Community Pantry location on San Jacinto Street had two 1,000-square-foot warehouses just down the street from the food pantry totaling 4,000 square feet, but those warehouses have been outgrown and are no longer useful.
“With this blessing of a new home for the Pantry…which will allow us to grow and continue to provide for our clients,” said Lineberger.
He explained the food pantry has over 10,900 families registered, averaging 120 new families a month. The average annual income for pantry clients is $13,748, including homeless individuals and the working poor.
“We serve an average of 230 seniors per month, and we are experiencing an average of three to four homeless seniors per month who need more assistance that what we can handle,” Lineberger said. “As the need continues to grow and the blessing we receive always seem to come at the right times.
“We are blessed to serve those in need in this valley, and we thank God for the opportunity. I want to thank you, the people of the valley, for your generous support during the past years because without it, these services would not be possible,” he said. The local Community Pantry live their motto: “Giving Hope. Helping Families. Blessing Lives.”
Hemet Community Pantry has provided food assistance to over 185,200 people with three meals per day for two to three days. They have provided for 36 rental assistance cases and 33 motel assistance cases.
They have helped 741 incidents of electrical assistance, paying people’s Southern California Edison bills, and likewise provided in 468 gas assistance cases and 174 water assistance cases.
The Community Pantry has 75 loving and caring volunteers with almost 198,000 volunteer hours.
The Pantry receives almost 390,000 pounds of food from stores, markets, churches, service organizations, businesses and the community and 1,825,000 pounds of donated food total.
With the move, the nonprofit Community Pantry is adding new sources for donations, including accepting donations through the Giveify app.
The Community Pantry can be reached by mail at Community Pantry, P.O. Box 763, Hemet, CA 92546.
For more information, visit www.valleycommunitypantry.org or find them on Facebook at Valley Community Pantry.