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Mama's Pantry to host "Independence from Hunger" during July to fill pantry shelves

SAN DIEGO -- Mama's Pantry is asking the public to participate in its second annual "Independence from Hunger" event, an initiative to encourage individuals, businesses, schools and community groups to host food drives during July 2012, to ensure the pantry shelves are full with nutritious non-perishable food items.

A service of Mama's Kitchen, Mama’s Pantry, provides a nutritional shopping opportunity at no cost for low income men, women and children of San Diego County affected by HIV/AIDS. The staff at Mama’s Kitchen asks the public to participate in the

Established in 2004, Mama’s Pantry has been serving residents of San Diego County for eight years. The service is designed to meet the needs of clients with HIV/AIDS who can benefit from occasional nutritional support to maintain their health and stretch their food budget. Once a month, clients and their dependents visit Mama’s Pantry to select their own non-perishable items such as cereals, pastas, and canned goods from a wide inventory.

When Mama’s Kitchen moved into a larger facility in City Heights in August 2011, they were able to move Mama’s Pantry from their offsite location in the neighborhood of North Park into their new building. Since then, perishable food items, such as milk, meats and fruit, have been added to the inventory available for clients.

The Independence from Hunger food drive will take place July 1-31, and the public’s help is needed to replenish the inventory during the summer months.

Non-perishable food donation recommendations include the following: boxes of cereal, packages of flour, instant oatmeal packets, bottles of cooking oil, jars of peanut butter, jars of jelly, bags of rice, packages of dried beans, spaghetti sauce, boxes of pasta, packets of pasta dinners, canned goods (fruits, soups, vegetables, chili, pasta and beans), macaroni and cheese, tuna fish/salmon, cake mixes and icing, and small boxes of dry milk. The goal is to collect 100 barrels of non-perishable food items during the month.

Mama's Kitchen has provided some ideas to easily host a food drive during the month of July. The month is often a time for friends and family to celebrate with parties and backyard barbecues, and asking guests to bring few items for Mama’s Kitchen can help turn your get-together into a party for a purpose.

To schedule a barrel delivery, contact Bill Patten at bill@mamaskitchen.org or call (619) 233-6262. Mama’s Kitchen will also make arrangements to pick up the barrels once the food drive has ended. A customizable wish list of non-perishable food items will be provided for groups to use for promotion.

For more ideas on how to host a successful food drive, click HERE.

About Mama’s Kitchen

Mama’s Kitchen was founded in 1990 when volunteers from the AIDS Assistance Fund discovered that many of their clients were becoming too ill to take care of themselves. They realized that a reliable home meal delivery service was needed to ensure that these individuals would continue to receive nutritious, life-sustaining food. In 2004, Mama’s Pantry was opened to provide individuals with HIV/AIDS who are able to prepare meals the opportunity to supplement their nutritional needs. Mama’s Kitchen has served over six million meals since it was founded and has never turned away a client who qualified for our services. Our commitment to our clients remains unchanged. Today, the organization has expanded its service to San Diegans affected by either AIDS or cancer. Mama’s Kitchen provides three meals a day, for every day of the year, free of charge, to over 350 men, women, and children in San Diego County. Learn more and make a donation at www.mamaskitchen.org.