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A Bit About Us

Turning Friendship Into Action

In 1973 the Ministerial Association of the Five Cities area asked a group of women from the area 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 they could make a difference so they formed a group to feed the hungry people in their communities.

One of the original members, Edna Gilbert, offered her single car garage to store and distribute the food. In those days the women delivered the food and were able to feed bout seven families a week. 

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 and Central Coast Baptist Church, now Shadow Mountain Community Church offered us space on their property.

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 and Farmer’s Markets. We also look for sales at the various stores throughout the county and in the Santa Maria area.

We have over 70 volunteers and we would love to have more.  We have shoppers who pick up food from grocery stores, a morning crew that stocks the shelves and afternoon workers who distribute the food. 

From those early beginnings of four ladies, working to supply food to seven families a month, we now serve 955 families a month,

Please use our contact page to let us know 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.  


(805) 473-3368

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