On Saturday, May 16, a California megachurch partnered with local nonprofits to distribute more than $44,000 in groceries and food items to families in a small San Diego suburb severely impacted by the pandemic.
The multi-campus Rock Church in Southern California worked together with nearly a dozen support groups to provide food for those living in the city of El Cajon.
Rock Church’s East County Campus held a drive-thru from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Partner organizations would pick up groceries and deliver them to residents “most vulnerable and at-risk during the COVID-19 crisis.” By day’s end, the church distributed 48,000 pounds of groceries to 445 households.
El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells shared his appreciation for all those involved.
“Saturday was a very special day! It was such an honor to partner with the Rock Church to distribute food to people in need in the Community of El Cajon,” Wells said. “We are thankful for The Rock Church… for collaborating with the city of El Cajon to help serve the needs of people in our community.”
One of the strategic partners Rock Church worked with was called 2-1-1 San Diego. They provide data useful for community planning. They were able to help Rock Church determine which people in the community were in greater need of assistance.
In fact, the data revealed four social demographics that were considered “most vulnerable”:
However, these four groups were not being served by other humanitarian organizations.
In addition, Home of Guiding Hands and Step Into Success assisted the city by providing funds for groceries. Other partners in the Rock Church distribution included:
El Cajon Deputy Mayor Phil Ortiz loved seeing the community come together.
“I reached out to our City Manager, Graham Mitchell, and said, ‘We need to get food out here!’ We reached out to the Rock and they were on top of it right away,” Ortiz said. “The Rock Church with their manpower and their volunteers just rearing to go really stepped up in a big way as they always do and have been for many years in the community.”
Over 45,000 residents of San Diego County face food shortages every day, according to the San Diego Food Bank. “Giving the Rock Church these funds was important because we knew 100% was going to go towards the people,” City Manager Mitchell said.