FIND Food Bank has partnered with Morongo Basin Healthcare District to provide better access to food for Basin residents in need.
According to data from Feeding America, 87% of counties across the U.S. with the highest rates of food insecurity are rural. In areas considered food deserts, there are often compounding factors of poor diet quality, higher medical care costs and barriers to basic need that push rural communities deeper into cycles of poverty and food insecurity. Residents of rural America disproportionately lack access to job opportunities, reliable transportation, and quality food.
The Morongo Basin region is no exception, where one in five people may face hunger primarily due to significant barriers in healthy food access.
In response, FIND Food Bank and Morongo Basin Healthcare District have formed a partnership to address the increasing rate of food insecurity in the Hi-Desert. FIND Food Bank's new branch location, provided by the healthcare District, gives local food pantries a nearby site to pick-up healthy ingredients and non-perishable food items in bulk for distribution at their Morongo Basin locations.
This partnership means that area food pantires do not have to commute over an hour to FIND's warehouse in Indio to pick up food. For many, that drive is a burden with some agencies renting a truck weekly and others simply not going down as often as needed due to fuel and labor costs.
"Food is medicine," says Jackie Combs, CEO of Morongo Basin Healthcare District. "When the community eats healthy food, they are less likely to develop chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiac disease. Partnering with FIND Food Bank will bring healthier food choices to our community."
The FIND Hi-Desert branch is located at the healthcare District's campus in Yucca Valley. FIND will store food for pick-up by area food pantries to distribute locally to Basin residents. FIND and the Morongo Basin Healthcare District encourage the community to reach out with any inquiries regarding food access or becoming a FIND member food pantry by calling 760-501-1637.
LIST OF FOOD BANKS WITHIN THE MORONGO BASIN: We maintain a list of food banks within the Morongo Basin on this website for community convenience. CLICK HERE to access that list of resources in the Basin.
Feeding Morongo Basin food project:: This partnership with FIND Food Bank is a result of the Board of Directors' initial response to the economic chaos and need triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. CLICK HERE to review the initial Feeding Morongo Basin food project.
FIND is the desert's regional food bank serving 5,000 square miles, which includes eastern Riverside and southern San Bernardino counties, from the Hi-Desert and Joshua Tree across the Coachella Valley to Anza, and down to the Salton Sea. FIND is the largest hunger relief and food rescue organization in the region. They are the Feeding America food bank for the Coachella Valley Desert Region and the USDA distributor for eastern Riverside County. Find feeds an average of 150,000 individuals, families, children, seniors and veterans each month. Their 150 distribution sites include over 80 community agency partnerships (soup kitchens, religious organizations, local nonprofits) and 44 community mobile markets that fill in the serve gaps for food desert and low-income areas. FIND is dedicated to ending hunger today, tomorrow, and for a lifetime through awareness, education, and mobilization of resources and community involvement.