By Collin Breaux
Serra’s Pantry, which provides food for people in need, has been recognized as a Gold Certified Nutrition Pantry by the Orange County Health Care Agency, as part of the state Nutrition Pantry Program.
The OCHCA gave an award to Serra’s Pantry on Oct. 5. Serra’s Pantry is one of three Gold Certified pantries in Orange County.
“Recognition is always nice,” Serra’s Pantry Director David Bordages said. “It’s really the volunteers that made all this happen. Everyone’s a volunteer here. We have about 80, on average. It’s important donors know that we’re a class act and we’re handling the food we get in a very effective and efficient manner.”
Maridet Ibanez, administrative manager for OCHCA’s nutrition services program, said Serra’s Pantry collected and used client feedback to improve pantry services, and also offered on-site nutrition education and reduced food waste by offering reusable bags.
Serra’s Pantry is located at Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano on Camino Capistrano and gives away food donated by grocery stores on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
“Last month, we distributed over 16 tons of produce that was donated by stores,” Bordages said. “We average about 60 families per open day. The food comes in, and we distribute to the families.”
People wishing to receive food must live within the nearby area and have to provide a utility bill or some type of documentation to prove their residency.
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.