TEMECULA, CA: Ponte Family Estates Winery in Temecula, California cancelled their company Christmas Party to donate $6,000 to help their community. They chose three local food pantries that are in desperate need during these difficult times. “In this economic climate, businesses that rely solely on donations are in dire need,” says winery owner, Claudio Ponte. “It is not about toys this year; it is about the basic necessities, food, shelter and clothing. Our local food pantries are reporting a 150% increase in needy families, and a decrease in donations. We feel that as a large Temecula business it is our obligation and privilege to support the needy families in our community.”
The Temecula Murrieta Community Pantry in Old Town Temecula is a Christian outreach program supported by local churches and private donations. It provides spiritual and material assistance to those in need in the Temecula-Murrieta area. “Some people think that, ‘this is Temecula, we don’t have needy here’, but they are wrong. We have a ‘camp’ of 15 living right here under the Santiago Street bridge and there are more and more ‘camps’ showing up every month. We see about 150 families a month,” according to Margie Hammersley, Director of the Community Pantry. The pantry carries fresh bread, pastries, and when available, fresh fruits and vegetables. Hot meals are available for the homeless weekdays, and household items are available daily. The Pantry also carries a supply of clean used clothing, and during the holidays, toys for children.
St. Martha’s Food Pantry, sponsored by St. Martha’s Catholic Church in Murrieta, is another location that is in need of donations. “This year, the number of families seeking assistance has increased while the number of donations has decreased,” according to Sonia Strong, assistant director at St. Martha’s Food Pantry. The pantry collects donations and sells clothing, furniture and goods through St. Martha’s Second Hand Treasures. They then use the money raised by the store to supply canned foods, cereals, cooking oil, toothpaste and other staples to needy residents of Murrieta, Winchester and French Valley. “As many as 350 families a month come to us from Murrieta and French Valley for food and non-perishables,” says Strong.
The Fallbrook Food Pantry, part of the Fallbrook Ministerial Association, has served low income and disadvantaged families since 1991. Its mission is to aid those in the community in need of food and clothing, find them shelter and medical care if needed, give them the tools they need to be self-sufficient and productive members of society, and offer love and hope through emotional support. “As with many charities throughout the community, donations are down and the need for help is on the rise everyday.” According to Frank Russell, Fallbrook Food Pantry Board of Director’s President, “we help 100 families a day — 50% of them being children. We need diapers, milk, blankets and clothing to help these families survive these hard economic times.”
For more information about the Temecula-Murrieta Community Pantry, please contact Margie Hammersley at (951) 676-8022. They are located at 28870 Pujol Street in Temecula.
For more information about St. Martha’s Food Pantry, please contact Sonia Strong at (951) 676-6347. They are located at 38444 Sky Canyon Drive in Murrieta.
For more information about the Fallbrook Food Pantry, please contact Frank Russell at (760) 728-7608 or visit their website at FallbrookFoodPantry.org. They are located at 1042 S. Mission Road in Fallbrook.
Ponte Winery, located in the heart of the Temecula Valley Wine Country, is open for tastings daily from 10am to 5pm. Visit our website at PonteWinery.com.
For more information regarding Ponte Family Estate Winery and to arrange a private media tour and lunch with our Chef and Winemaker, please contact our Public relations Manager Linda Kissam.