By Kathy Chouteau
White Pony Express may make its home base in Pleasant Hill, but it’s riding high on a mission to eradicate hunger in Richmond, San Pablo and beyond through its good work.
The nonprofit, which works to eliminate hunger and poverty by delivering the abundance to those in need, counts among its work the delivery of nutritious, fresh food to ten recipient agencies in Richmond and three in San Pablo. Among those 13 Richmond and San Pablo recipients are five local schools that are part of its School Pantry Program.
Eve Birge, executive director of White Pony Express, said that they look to “rescue and deliver the highest quality food, combatting rampant food insecurity and reducing the costs associated with chronic health conditions brought about by hunger and lack of access to nutritionally sufficient food.” She said that to date, they’ve delivered 18 million meals.
The nonprofit said it picks up about 12,000 lbs. of surplus food daily from grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants, which they then distribute free of charge to more than 90 nonprofit partners that provide it to community members in need throughout Contra Costa County.
Included among the organization’s representative agencies in Richmond are Apostle City Ministries, Brookside Shelter, Calli House, Coronado Elementary School and Ford Elementary School, while San Pablo recipients are EM Downer Elementary School, Eden Housing—Hana Gardens and Paraclete House.
The organization said its School Pantry Program, which encompasses 13 overall recipients including five schools in the Richmond and San Pablo area, “delivers 600-800 pounds of food twice a week to…under-resourced schools, positively impacting overall health and wellness for students and their families.”
White Pony Express said that “School administrators have noted improvements in learning, reading retention, attendance, participation and behavior” at these participating schools that are located in communities where more than 80 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.
According to the organization, its recipient agencies, in turn, serve a wide range of people, spanning from shelters, community centers and senior living facilities to foster youth programs, homes for people with disabilities and others.
Ultimately, “White Pony Express is raising awareness about reducing food waste, diverting healthy food from landfills and feeding hungry neighbors across Contra Costa County,” said Birge.
To support the nonprofit’s work in our local area, or to learn more, click here.