Morro Bay Volunteers Help Local Families in Need

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 13.2% of the residents of San Luis Obispo County are below the poverty line. This is startling news for those of us who see our Central Coast home as a pristine paradise. Fortunately, some locals are doing their part to help those in need.

My next-door neighbor volunteers three times a week, helping to distribute food to poor families that struggle to afford adequate meals. I decided to follow him one morning, driving out to the Morro Bay Veterans’ Memorial¬†Building, where tables were set out and a truck full of food from the local food bank was being unloaded. I spoke with some of the volunteers, and learned that they arrive as early as 8:00 in the morning to prepare for the incoming crowd.

The registry of local families who accept the free food has more than 300 names, and I was told any given day will bring 25 to 60 people. Even though the doors wouldn’t open until 10:30, there were already some folks waiting by 9:00! One by one, they would sign in, then wait patiently in line as they made a big circle through the courtyard, taking what they needed – meat, fruit, vegetables, bread, and even over-the-counter medicine! The largest donor is our local Albertson’s, but they also receive food from Trader Joe’s, Cal Poly’s agriculture students, farmers who participate in local farmers’ markets, and even some private individuals. I was told that on the third Friday of every month, an extra delivery is made, this one from the federal government.

Here’s my report on what I saw:

If you want to donate or volunteer to help this program, contact Don Beasley at (805) 704-8532 for further information.