FROM THE HEART MINISTRIES Collaborates with Food Box Program in Anza
Published: Friday, February 17, 2012
Anza Valley Outlook - January 13, 2012
The setting sun cast a warm glow on the large 18-wheeler parked at the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, where locals pull up to pick up this month's food box. This is a drive through service, their food box orders are taken by Donny the truck driver from Western Eagle, and three young men from U-turn Christian Ministries joyfully load the food box orders into their vehicles. Tammy Marana of "From the Heart" Ministries stands by checking her list; many receive free boxes from donations given to "From the Heart." Each box has a variety of stuff - dairy products, pastas, sauce, canned goods, and prepared foods like macaroni and cheese that can just be heated up, hamburger patties, breads, and desserts. Each month contains new surprises and old favorites. Each food box comes at an affordable price. It has been about a year and a half since "From the Heart" founder Linda Hart collaborated with Western Eagle, a food bank into Temecula, to bring their Food Box project up to Anza. When participants were asked what the Western Eagle Food Box program here in Anza meant to them, they replied:
"It is an incredible value, an incredible ministry, and it does a lot of good for the people who participate in it. There is also the convenience of not having to go down the hill and spend gas. You get a lot of good stuff and it's different every time. It's interesting and fun, especially for the kids," said Brooke Blackmore.
"It is a real help with the economy and all. Right now my husband's not working, so it really helps us out. It's a really good thing for the community; there are a lot of people in the same position," shared Lorraine Elmore.
"It saves not only tons of money and time, but you don't have to go off the hill. And the kids have fun taking [the food box] apart. And if there is something I will not use, I share it with other people," said Christi James.
"It means livelihood and food for my kids. It's wonderful; I am glad they come here. I will go to the [warehouse] and buy it too. The way they come up here, it is such a great ministry for people who can't get down the hill. They are wonderful," said KC Neer.
"It means the world to me and my family because 'From the Heart' is able to sponsor a food box for us; there are some months we cannot afford it. Sometimes, this is the major food stuff we have in house. So it's a total blessing and the times that we can afford to get our own boxes, saves us gas money from having to go down the hill. It's quite the convenience and we look forward to it each month. Plus it's a time to visit with friends," said Judy Schultz.
Donny Aria is the truck driver for Western Eagle. He and another driver drive every week all over to pick up food and bring it back to the warehouse in Temecula. Their volunteers - many from programs such as U-turn, a recovery program to regain their lives - pack the food according to the Food Box programs plan. In volunteering time, a labor program recipient learns to think of others first. This is what one team member has to say:
"Technically, it is volunteer work; we are part of a restoration ministry called U-turn for Christ. We are here mostly to turn our lives around. The ministry has a work program Advertisement
[ Berry-Bell and Hall Mortuary ] in association with Western Eagle. Our pastor provides the workforce and in turn, Western Eagle donates food back to U-Turn's participants," said Martin Sanchez. "It makes me feel good. Even though we don't get a paycheck, we are helping out. I like that we are thinking of others and that we are doing something for somebody else. We are so used to doing everything for ourselves. To me, that's rewarding."
Once a month, on the second Monday, they pack the big truck and bring Project Food Box to Anza. They usually bring about 70 boxes, but only 40 are usually sold. The nominal fee charged covers expenses and makes it possible for Project Food Box to continue.
Food boxes can also be purchased at Western Eagle in Temecula at any time. The nominal fee ranges from $15-$25, depending on the basic box type, and $35 for meat boxes. This fee is the same in Anza as well as in Temecula at the warehouse. There are no qualifications and no requirements, anyone can purchase boxes; in fact the more people who participate here in Anza, guarantees that the program will be able to continue, which blesses everyone.
Project Food Box was designed to feed a family of four, two times a day, for a week. If you don't need a food box, maybe you know someone else who does. You could pick one up for them, or you could pick one up for yourself, and share part of it. You can also donate funds to "From the Heart" Ministries and earmark it for the project Food Box and they will make sure someone in need receives a food box.
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church has graciously opened their doors as well as their large open parking lot to the Western Eagle Food Box project here in Anza. Through a door off the parking lot, you will find a warm room, with warm hearts handing out water, coffee, and friendly conversation to all who enter. It is a real blessing, on those cold or hot days, while waiting for the ever faithful Donny Aria to arrive with the Western Eagle truck to Anza.
"From the Heart" Christian Women's Ministries are a non-denominational group of women who work hard to touch the lives of children and families in need in the Anza Valley and surrounding areas. They are always looking for new members, so come check them out at their next meeting.
"Our first meeting of the new year is to be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, at noon, at Backcountry Christian Fellowship's meeting place, located at 55180 Hwy 371 in Anza, entrance off Bautista Road. This is a potluck luncheon. Come share ideas and fellowship as they plan how they are going to help even more kids this year. You just may enjoy being a part of this wonderful organization that blesses so many needy kids and families in the Anza Valley," said Judy Schultz, FTH member.
Donations to "From the Heart" Christian Women's Ministries are tax-deductible. Mail donations to P.O. Box 304, Aguanga, CA 92536 or pay online at www.fthcwm.org or contact Linda Hart, Founder by calling (951) 541-7857.
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is located at 56095 Pena Road in Anza. Thier phone number is (951) 763-4226. The Western Eagle truck tries to arrive there from 4 to 4:30 p.m.; food is handed out until 5:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.
Western Eagle Foundation can be found at 40940 County Center Drive in Temecula. Call (951) 695-7206 for more information.
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