Community Reaches Out in West Fullerton

by Carol Van Ahlers

Early on Saturday mornings, once a month for the past six years, volunteers from throughout the Fullerton community have gathered in West Fullerton to distribute food to families in need. The effort is a partnership between the Orangethorpe United Methodist Church (OUMC), the West Fullerton Improvement Committee, Orangethorpe Learning Center, St. Jude Medical Center and the Second Harvest Food Bank. The tradition continues in 2009 beginning in January with a special effort by the members of the Board of Trustees and executives from St. Jude Medical Center who provided their donation as a holiday gift to the community.

This event is usually held on the first Saturday of the month at 9am in the OUMC back parking lot. Over the years, the medical center staff and management have provided support to pay for the delivery of the food by Second Harvest. Retail food suppliers from throughout the Southland donate the food to Second Harvest. Over the years many groups have provided volunteers to distribute the food to the over 200 families that attend including OUMC church members, Fullerton Boy Scout Troop 1201, Girl Scout troops, other local youth organizations and other churches throughout the area. The program is administered by the OUMC Latino Ministry.

As the economy worsens, the demand for these services in the community is increasing. Eastside Christian Church, located in Fullerton, has recently offered to sponsor an additional distribution on the third Saturday of the month for the next six months, doubling the service provided to those in need.

This community support truly makes a difference in the lives of thousands of families each year. For more information, refer on the web to Those interested in volunteering for the distribution may call the OUMC office at 714.526.8317.

St. Jude Medical Center Board of Trustees, Executive Management Team and family members volunteering at West Fullerton Food Distribution.

[This article appeared in the March 2009 issue of the Fullerton Observer.]

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