Turning Friendship Into Action
In 1973 the Ministerial Association in the Five Cities asked a group of women from the local churches to host a “World Day of Prayer.” Friendships were made at this event and the ladies decided to socialize monthly. One day a neighbor approached on of group members and asked her for food. The ladies decided that maybe instead of meeting for coffee they needed to address the food insecurities in their neighborhood.
One of the ladies offered her single car garage to store the food. The women delivered the food and fed seven families a week. From those early beginnings we now serve over 1,000 families a month.
Several Grover Beach churches hosted the pantry in the early days, Bethel Baptist Church and Central Coast Baptist Church, now Shadow Mountain Community Church. In 1998 the Kiwanis Club of Pismo Beach built a pantry for us on the property of Central Coast Baptist Church, now Shadow Mountain Community Church.
Donations of food come from local grocery stores. With financial donations from churches, individuals and other groups we purchase food from the Food Coalition at a reduced price. We also look for sales at the various stores throughout the county and in the Santa Maria area.
Our volunteers pick up food from grocery stores, restock the Pantry shelves. Other volunteers distribute the food to our neighbors in the afternoon. Please use our contact page if you'd like to donate or volunteer. Just imagine what we can do together!
Emillie Elizabeth Hvolboll
Emillie was the last of the founding members of Five Cities Christian Women food Ministry that began in 1973. She worked tirelessly for all those years, at one time as the group's President, also in several other Chairmanships. Then, for many years (working well up into her late eighties) coordinating the Food Pantry making sure that the shelves were well stocked with nutritious food, seeing to it that no one went away hungry.
She took to heart the command of our Lord to feed the poor. Emillie will, without a doubt, hear Him say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
We will truly miss her sweet spirit and her example of an abiding faith in God, during times when our funds were low, that He would always provide. She taught us much about the power of prayer and faith.