Visitng SSIP

ssip produce

Monday mornings usually bring to-do lists longer than you’d like, so I happily changed up my Monday morning routine and started off the week with a visit to one of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ (SFBFS) Partner Agencies.

SSIP (South Sacramento Interfaith Partnership) Food Closet is a collaboration of 14 local organizations committed to serving the needs of hungry individuals throughout a ten zip code area of South Sacramento. SSIP operates out of a 1,400 square foot facility at Bethany Presbyterian Church, but volunteers, donations and support comes from the entire partnership including Centennial United Methodist, Chinese Community Church, Faith Presbyterian, Florin United Methodist, Fruitridge Christian Church, Hope United Methodist Church, Lutheran Church of the Master, Oak Park United Methodist, Parkside Community UCC, Prince of Peace, Sacramento Japanese United Methodist, Saint Anthony Catholic and Wesley United Methodist.

ssip volunteer

Individuals and families may visit SSIP Food Closet once per month during normal operating hours of Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Food items include bread, fresh fruit and vegetables, deli items, grains and miscellaneous items. SSIP picks up donations at their neighborhood Bel Air and Trader Joes, purchases items from local stores and also receives items from SFBFS. Volunteers pick up these donations seven days per week!

Three part-time staff members oversee the operation and their passion and enthusiasm are palpable. Kindness, patience and encouragement shine through. Their corps of volunteers work diligently and Monday’s crew was no exception. After a quick gathering to review key points for the day and celebrate last month’s impact (they fed 4,963 neighbors in June!), the group shared a blessing and then quickly got to work bagging fresh peppers and artichokes, sorting baguettes, repackaging eggs and hauling bags of onions.

ssip reception

Coordinator Lori Sugar proudly toured me around the campus, greeting and welcoming each guest and showing off their creative Community Food Basket, which is a shopping cart where clients can leave items they do not want and other may pick up items their family would enjoy. Lori also beamed while showing off their newly installed refrigerators and freezers, which they received through a grant from SFBFS. Her passion for helping others and the dedication of the fellow staff and volunteers made this a great start to my week.

To learn more about SSIP Food Closet or get involved, please visit their Web site.

Submitted by Kelly Siefkin, VP of Communications & Marketing