12 Days of Giving - Helping Hands
By: Ashley Solis
Many political, social and spiritual groups would encourage being altruistic and giving back to your community year-round. However, something is in the air during the holiday season that really brings out the spirit of giving in all of us. For 12 days throughout December, we want to inspire you to give back to those who are in need in our local neighborhoods. Our "12 Days of Giving" feature will share the impact and needs of twelve different Inland Empire charities. Our hope is that each feature will inform you and encourage you to donate, volunteer or give back in some way. Please consider giving the gift of kindness to a stranger this season, because it may be the only one they receive.
Day Seven — Helping Hands Pantry in San Bernardino
When most people think about hunger, they think of a person who is experiencing homelessness. The reality is that hunger is an epidemic in the United States. Here in the Inland Empire, the numbers are higher than the national averages. According to the Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County (CAPSBC), “In our 43rd congressional district which covers the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Grand Terrace, Fontana and Ontario, 24 percent live in poverty and an unbelievable 32 percent of persons under 18 years of age living in poverty.” The agonizing result of poverty is hunger. Hunger affects the average person who is struggling to feed their family.
Usually during the holidays our community graciously donates food to those in need. While these bountiful donations are greatly appreciated, it is also important to remember people need food throughout the year as well. Helping Hands Pantry in San Bernardino knows first-hand the importance of a good meal. Helping Hand’s mission is simple—to end hunger. Being the only food pantry in San Bernardino County that is open seven days a week, they distribute a great deal of food to people in need. Currently, Helping Hands Pantry provides food to over 7,000 individuals each week. Other than providing food, they also have a backpack program, food for pets, and a mobile food bank that travels to the homeless within in the community.
In order to continue to assisting the thousands, Helping Hands Pantry relies on donations from individuals, businesses and foundations. The Pantry also has the necessary support from approximately 200 volunteers. Are you interested in becoming a volunteer? Helping Hands Pantry is always looking for individuals to assist with their gardens, warehouse, office work and distribution. To learn about how you can be a volunteer, visit their website. Also, Helping Hands Pantry accepts donations of food and clothing, as well as fiscal support. You can truly be the reason your neighbor goes to bed with a full stomach tonight.
Remember that sharing is caring, and if you can’t personally give back, share it with someone who can! #ieshineon #12daysofgiving