Mission Momentum

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At IFM, our mission seems fairly simple- we feed and clothe those who need it- but there are all kinds of challenges that can unexpectedly gum up the works: the economy, logistics, funding changes, reporting, laws, regulations, politics, etc. But sometimes everything seems to come together behind an important need, and when that happens, positive change comes swiftly, and moves that mission along.

We’ve had a bit of both lately, although the unexpected blessings FAR outweigh the minor challenge. As some may realize, usually about this time of year, we participate in food and cash drive with a matching funds component, in partnership with the Feinstein Foundation. Sadly, the foundation has put the “Feinstein Challenge” on hold indefinitely. But rest assured, you’ll still be hearing from us. The Board of Directors will soon be reaching out to our supporters with an update on some of the wonderful changes and growth we’ve experienced recently, and a spring fund and food drive will hopefully bridge the gap the absence of the Feinstein Challenge creates.

Here’s the good news (the really really good news): Last month, we launched the Free Mobile Farmers Market as part of our Feed Modesto campaign, bringing fresh produce into low-income neighborhoods with little or no access to affordable fruits and vegetables, at NO COST. The pilot efforts of this program alone exceeded our expectations for the entire year! We hoped we’d be able to serve 200-300 unduplicated individuals in a year’s time, and in three stops in three days, just over 4 hours cumulative time, we were able to serve 775 worthy, grateful people. Each stop had lines down the street, broad smiles, heartfelt thank yous, and a few grateful tears. Our region is hungry for healthy foods. Many food pantries aren’t equipped to serve perishable foods, and many neighborhoods are served only by liquor and convenience stores.

We are addressing these issues, and the community is responding with an outpouring of support. We have about 20 sites on a waiting list to bring this valuable service to their clients, students, and parishioners, and we are working to fund these expanded efforts as fast as we can.

Good things are happening, and our mission of feeding Modesto and Stanislaus County is going to continue to thrive as we grab hold of this momentum and make the most of the amazing resources this beautiful region has to offer.

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