Catholic Charities receives grant to help nourish isolated areas

June 24, 2020

Catholic Charities receives grant to help nourish isolated areas

A $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will help people living in some of the most impoverished parts of the Coachella Valley. Catholic Charities San Bernardino & Riverside Counties will use the Coachella Valley Spotlight grant to provide more fresh, healthy food to residents living in Mecca, North Shore, and in isolated, difficult-to-reach trailer park communities in the east valley.

“Our motto is ‘Providing Help, Creating Hope,’ and today – during a pandemic – people need both more than ever,” said Ken F. Sawa CEO and Executive Vice President of Catholic Charities. “We are grateful to the Berger Foundation and to the News Channel 3 Advisory Board for recognizing the need in Eastern Riverside County, which has been compounded since March.”

Each Wednesday, a pool of nearly 100 dedicated volunteers sort, pack and distribute food for Catholic Charities’ Eastern Coachella Valley food distribution program, which provides much-needed staples including meats, bread and produce to some of the poorest areas in the valley. Catholic Charities has been providing this nourishment to as many as 450-500 households each week, which is an increase from typical distributions this time of year. Plus, many households are in need of a range of emergency assistance during this very volatile time.

“Catholic Charities is helping with the immediate needs in the east valley, but they are also invested in the long-term efforts of improving people’s lives in these communities,” said Christopher McGuire, President of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

Catholic Charities has been providing a variety of services for low income families in the Coachella Valley for 35 years. Annually, for the past 17 years, the Eastern Coachella Valley food distribution helps nearly 4,000 unduplicated children, adults and seniors including seasonal hospitality service employees and farm workers.

“Catholic Charities is reaching an underserved segment of our community, and it’s good to know that they are committed to continuing this work through the pandemic. Volunteers, like these, are really amazing frontliners,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.

Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, Catholic Charities San Bernardino & Riverside Counties was featured on News Channel 3 programming, in public service announcements and on kesq.com. For more information call 760-342-0341 or visit www.ccsbriv.org.