Community Resource Center reopens in-person service
After going curbside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Resource Center’s Food & Nutrition Center fully reopened on May 2 for in-person service.
“As we’ve reached post peak-pandemic, we realized we wanted to return to a more comprehensive way of serving our participants,” said Rebecca Nussbaum, chief program officer for the nonprofit Community Resource Center.
She added, “We took a look at COVID numbers and really saw that those were on the decline, as well as feedback from our participants and volunteers wanting to return to an in-person experience.”
Households that participate in the program visit about three times per month and save about $450, Nussbaum said. The pantry serves residents who struggle with food insecurity, including people experiencing homelessness, domestic violence survivors and veterans.
“We believe everyone deserves access to healthy and nutritious food, and unfortunately that’s not the reality of many folks in our community,” Nussbaum said.
According to the Community Resource Center, more than 403,000 pounds of food was distributed through 11,687 visits in 2021.
Nearly half a million people throughout San Diego County are food insecure, according to the San Diego Food Bank, meaning they have little access to food at home and aren’t sure where their next meals are coming from. About 177,000 of them are children.
Through the two years of pandemic-related restrictions, the Community Resource Center pantry provided prepackaged options that were delivered curbside to families that stopped by. There was not as much ability to accommodate specific dietary preferences that some of the clients had.
Volunteers who work at the pantry have also been trained in operations, policies and procedures.
“We were able to make it a more dignified shopping experience for our clients,” said Yanira Alonso, food and nutrition program manager. “They’re able to shop through the pantry, select their own items that they would like to choose. We go ahead and accommodate any special diet, whether it’s gluten free, vegan, vegetarian.”
The Community Resource Center is located at 650 2nd St. in Encinitas. For more information, visit crcncc.org.
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