Donations of nonperishable food will be collected at all four of Laguna Beach’s major grocery stores on Saturday and Sunday, May 17 & 18 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Volunteers from the Laguna Beach Interfaith Council will be stationed outside Albertsons, Ralphs, Whole Foods and Pavilions to collect donations for the Laguna Food Pantry as part of Big Sunday, a national day of community service. Monetary donations can also be made on the spot using a QR code and a mobile device, or by check. Volunteers can sign up for three-hour shifts by calling local coordinator Sally Barron at 949-497-2343.
Barron noted, “Big Sunday is the perfect way to engage local residents as volunteers in a simple, short-term, but important effort that will directly and positively impact our community. The Interfaith Council serves the needs of this community’s poor and disenfranchised, so this project is a great fit for us. We have volunteers and organizers from St. Mary’s Episcopal, Neighborhood Congregational, St. Catherine’s of Siena, Laguna Presbyterian, Laguna Beach United Methodist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the Christian Science Church.”
Volunteers will offer information and ask shoppers as they enter grocery stores to purchase a few extra items to donate to the Laguna Food Pantry to donate on their way out. The most-needed items are breakfast cereal, canned tuna, peanut butter, jelly, pasta, and pasta sauce. The need for supplemental food in Laguna Beach is substantial. Every weekday, Laguna Food Pantry distributes 2,500 lbs. of free, fresh groceries to shoppers from area low-income households. Among those households, 20 percent of the consumers of the Pantry food are babies and children.
Big Sunday is a registered nonprofit with no religious or political agenda. It brings together thousands of Californians of all ages and all backgrounds to work at hundreds of nonprofits, schools and other agencies that need their help. On Big Sunday Weekend in 2013 in California, volunteers turned out to lend a hand at more than 500 different projects from San Diego to San Francisco, making Big Sunday Weekend one of the largest regional community service events in America.
The Laguna Food Pantry provides free, fresh, nutritious groceries to low-income households. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road north of the Dog Park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. It is run entirely by volunteers. New volunteers are always welcome. Phone: 949-497-7121 www.lagunafoodpantry.org.