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Dear Supporters of Sunrise Christian Food Ministry:
Greetings to you during a tumultuous time. SCFM has survived through a roller coaster year. Successful but very challenging times. Through the summer of 2019 into the fall, we were somewhat “normal” as to the number of customers, quantities of food, volunteers, and sufficient funds to cover all the operations. Then came the Thanksgiving season. We started obtaining and distributing turkeys the last week of October. Each day we were purchasing and distributing 100 turkeys. The weekend before Thanksgiving, we obtained 100 chickens and 800 turkeys from the Sacramento Food Bank Turkey drive. We were so thankful to the Lord for having the completed walk-in refrigerator/freezer. All 900 fit well in there. They did not stay long. By Wednesday 800 were distributed. All told, by the week after Thanksgiving we had distributed over 2,200 turkeys.
Throughout this time until February 2020, God had faithfully supplied. Volunteers, supplies, and funds all came with the ability to meet an increasing client base. We were having about 70 – 80 families (about 250 – 300 individuals) on a daily basis. We were networking with all the food closets in Sacramento County – about 225 agencies. We had a close working relationship with about 16 agencies in the Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, and Orangevale area. We were sharing food supplies and operating processes to meet the food insecurity needs in our community.
But then came February / March 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic shut down. We were impacted severely by the rules and regulations that were directed to all. In Sacramento county, the 225 emergency food distribution agencies dropped to 24 Essential Agencies, of which we are one of them. Our regular volunteer base, being older people, was classified as at risk and had to stay away. We went through two weeks wondering what to do and even if we could stay open. After much prayer, God answered by having us work with Hands on Sacramento, an online volunteer agency, and several churches who had teams of volunteers. We now had enough people to keep going. Another issue came up and that was the food supply chain was broken and we were unable to buy our mass supplies from the grocery stores.
Once again, God had an answer. Sacramento Food Bank, with contracts with farms and the US Dept of Agriculture, was able to receive increased quantities of food. Now instead of supplying to 225 agencies, they focused in supplying the 24 essential agencies. Our increased needs were now being met. Our client base has been increasing to 100 – 120 families (350 – 500 individuals) daily. This increase requires considerably more supplies and manpower to handle it.
Another result of the Covid-19 is our method of food handling and distribution. No longer are clients allowed to stand in lines outside the building and then come in to register. We have changed to a process of prepacking all the food supplies and set up a “no contact” distribution. We are using the lower parking lot for a check in/registration station. People stay in their vehicles during the complete process. After checking in they proceed up the hill to the food closet. All the boxes and bags of produce and bread are now located outside. We load the food into the vehicles, and they turn around and drive out.
Precautionary procedures are utilized before, during, and after distribution to minimize contamination and to promote self-protection against the spread of any viruses. All our volunteers are monitored daily with a no contact temperature check. Cleaning and sanitizing protocols are implemented daily. Wearing masks is required (and thanks to all of you who made masks when they were unavailable). An outdoor wash station has been set up to augment frequent hand washing. Gloves are worn for most activities. Social distancing is practiced. And procedures have been put in place to monitor all locations we pick up food and supplies.
Our next opportunities are coming up. We know the community is hurting without employment and it will not turn around quickly. We have been told to expect the needs to keep increasing and lasting through the rest of the year. Besides needing additional supplies, when employers can open again, our volunteer base will again be shifting. Already, we have had notices from a dozen people they are being called back to work. Volunteering can be 1 or 2 days a week, 1 or 2 days a month, or on a standby substitute list. You can even form your own team of folks and have your own day of the month. If interested and available, please complete the Volunteer Application, then schedule yourself for the New Volunteer Orientation. Contact April, the Volunteer Coordinator, at or text or call her at (916) 287-1358 for questions.