All Pantries Distribute Food – But Community Resource Center Nurtures the Hungry
August 15, 2017
Written by: Guest contributor and CRC participant, Michael Williams
Michael Williams came to CRC’s Food & Nutrition Center when he found himself homeless. He received case management and assistance and now has an apartment of his own in North Park, San Diego. Read and watch Michael’s story here
Thank you, Community Resource Center for providing the mindfulness, awareness and caring to personally nurture me, while at the same time, filling my belly!
Community Resource Center nurtures that part of normality that hunger threatens.
In addition to the physical pain of hunger, there is damage to the psyche from the interruption of the normal self-sufficiency customs we all have. Community Resource Center attempts to provide a dignified experience in such a nuanced approach it can be unnoticed. Even though often unnoticed, it may be one of the most important benefits of the pantry.
My expectations were set for what I would find at CRC because I had been to more than one food pantry before. I could not have been more wrong. My personal experience at most pantries is to wait outside, with no questions and then take whatever I receive. As a hungry person, this is quite generous to say-the-least – after all it is the norm. However, the lack of choice and consideration comes at a time of increased vulnerability, heightened fear, and lessened tolerance for already intolerable vicissitudes. I am grateful in this situation; however, the CRC Food & Nutrition Center experience is more compassionate and therefore heartwarming.
Whatever the individual story that brings a person to the food pantry, it is always beyond a shadow of a doubt, painful.
Whatever the individual story that brings a person to the food pantry, it is always beyond a shadow of a doubt, painful. After several days of hunger, it is hard to measure which is more painful – the physical, emotional, mental, or even moral deprivation one starts to feel. The look in the eyes of hungry children ignites terror in a parent, especially when there is no solution at hand.
The CRC Food & Nutrition Center experience emotionally, mentally, and physically emulates the ordinary shopping experience, thereby nurturing our emotional and mental psyche. The experience attempts to provide a finessed and nuanced support to each client’s self-esteem.
Community Resource Center responds differently than most first responders. With the grace and speed of a hummingbird, CRC graciously asks each participant: “are there any foods that you especially need, what about refrigerated foods, what about allergies, what about sweets, what about produce, and/or what about toiletries?” Then as if one was strolling through any other grocery store, a volunteer leads you down aisles where you can select items that you need. Then, a volunteer helps with bagging.
This mindfulness and awareness of the human part of the occurrence reinforces the self-sufficiency customs that we all practice on a regular basis. When we go shopping, we all consider what we already have, what we especially need, what we want, what we are allergic to, and our health care needs.
Thank you, Community Resource Center for providing the mindfulness, awareness and caring to personally nurture me, while at the same time, filling my belly! While unexpected, it is always, welcomed.
CRC Food & Nutrition Program Participant
Mr. Williams is passionate about educating people about homelessness and the effects of alcoholism and violence in families and has written several books, available on Amazon. Learn more about Michael’s books
To receive food and services, please call the CRC Social Services Department at (760) 753-8300 ext. 1301 or visit our office located at 650 2nd St. Encinitas, CA 92024. The office is open M-Th 8am – 5pm & Fri. 8am-1:30pm
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