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Winter Update

2023 marked 40 years for the Sunrise Christian Food Ministry and with it brought lots of exciting change and growth. In November we gathered in gratitude to celebrate this joyous milestone. It was a beautiful time of sharing and community.

We would like to thank our many supporters and volunteers whose generous gifts of time and treasure allowed our ministry to keep up with the growing need for food assistance in our community over these many years.

We especially extend heartfelt gratitude to our church partners, civic organizations, local government, retail and corporate friends, local educators, and Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services for their numerous and varied support allowing us to expand and grow our capacity to serve the community and families in need.

Our ministry is extremely proud and has been blessed by a few new opportunities to serve this year including our homeless outreach which brings food and supplies into the darkest and loneliest corners of Citrus Heights and Sacramento County, our partnerships with Sayonara Center and Vintage Oaks Senior Living Community delivering fresh, nutritious food to seniors and families who struggle with transportation and are unable to come to the food closet for assistance. Over the last 12 months we have delivered 600 fresh food boxes to these communities and provided resources to those who would otherwise not have access.

Another wonderful program that got off the ground in 2023 is our partnership with 211 and the United Way, Ride United. This program allowed us to deliver (within a 10-mile radius) food boxes to home bound seniors with the assistance of Door Dash. Since early 2023 we have lovingly packed and delivered nearly 200 fresh food boxes to seniors in need. For many of these seniors, this was the first time they had requested and received food assistance from our ministry and based on the glowing reviews and positive feedback we have received, it likely will not be the last.

All these exciting opportunities would not have been possible without your support and the hard work of our volunteers.

In 2023 our volunteers clocked in and served 182,000 hours. This included 100 volunteers that serve on a regular (daily, biweekly, weekly, and monthly) basis as well as 400 first time volunteers serving with us for a variety of reasons.

Some of these volunteers came to us through our strong connections to local universities, high/middle schools, youth groups and church groups who regularly send their members and students to learn, grow and serve with us. Our ministry offers these groups the opportunity to expand their job and people skills while helping with necessary daily tasks. Including processing donations (over 1 million pounds), bagging produce, cleaning, checking and repackaging eggs and sorting/bagging canned goods. Many of these volunteers come to our ministry to learn new things and along the way, taught us as well.

Thank God for you and our volunteers! When we look at the number of people, we served in 2023, it is remarkable bordering on miraculous. It is hard to believe we continue to meet the need day to day, week to week and year to year, but with your help and the grace of God, we do.

From January-December 2023 our ministry served just under 100,000 individuals from 31,059 households including 21,354 people living in Citrus Heights. 4000 of our families received help for the first time ever, in 2023. Thanks to your donations and support we will continue to be available to help when families find themselves in need.

There is no other time of year that shines a spotlight on the growing need than our annual Thanksgiving distribution. Traditionally held the Thursday and Friday before Thanksgiving, these two days bring together the number of volunteers and clients normally seen over the course of two-four weeks. This year with the help of our friends at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Grocery Outlet, Safeway, Raleys, San Juan Masonic Lodge and many more, we were able to provide holiday food boxes plus a $15 gift card to nearly 2000 families, including deliveries to Vintage Oaks and Sayonara Center.

Amazing things happen when we all work together! If you would like to see photos and articles written about this year’s Thanksgiving distribution or any of the other wonderful events from 2023, please visit our website and check out the Photo Gallery. On our website you will also see our upcoming events including our Community Food Drive on March 2- 9am-12pm.

In addition to the endless list of good work done in and for the community this past year, we also had some bad luck when our campus was broken into at the end of the year. Everything that was taken could be replaced except for our sense of safety and security. The incident has given us the opportunity to look at our procedures and the way things have been done in the past and reimagine a better, safer, and more secure way to operate in the future. In the months ahead we are planning improvements to our campus to make it safer, to better secure our resources and to keep our clients and volunteers safe.

Moving forward there are things you can do to help as well. As you prayerfully consider your continued support of our ministry, we ask that you think about updating the way you provide your donations. We learned the hard way that paper checks can easily find their way into the hands of wrong doers. Even when we do our best to keep your donations safe, we have found that the US mail system just isn’t as secure as it used to be. In our experience online giving is not only more secure, but it cuts down on the expense and time it takes to process paper checks. Gift giving though Zelle (send to in most cases can be done without fees or if you don’t have access to Zelle through your bank, PayPal is another low-cost option for sending donations. ($10 donation has a $.69 processing fee) We understand this will be a hard change for some supporters to make and are available to walk you through your options. We are committed to protecting and safeguarding your personal and financial information and truly feel this is the best option to keep you safe.

Thank you so much for helping Sunrise Christian Food Ministry celebrate 40 years of providing food and services to individuals and families in our community who are facing food insecurity. We look forward to 2024 and all the amazing work God has planned for us in the months and years ahead.

Bless you,

Sunrise Christian Food Ministry

Board of Directors