A local organization that feeds the hungry and homeless received a large donation of butternut squash Saturday, from Emerald Farms and Benden Farms of Colusa.
A Hand Up is a local non-profit organization collaborated with the Colusa Methodist Church, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, and the Colusa Assembly of God Church.
“We can feed a lot of people with this donation,” said Robin Rauch, organization coordinator.
Emerald Farms ran by Allen and Sheila Etchepare, and Bended Farms ran by Ben and Denise Carter heard about the opportunity and wanted to help.
“This is such a great organization, and we have this opportunity to help,” said Etchepare.
Etchepare hopes that other farmers alike will join in and help make contributions to feeding the hungry in Colusa County.
“Many crops are very specific these days,” said Etchepare, “Instead of discarding perfectly good product we could put it to good use.”
Any excess products that the organization is unable to use, they will donate to the Colusa County Foodbank located at Impact Thrift Store.
“We will make sure that all donations will be put to good use,” said Rauch.
Five Years Feeding the Hungry
The organization began by providing sack lunches to the homeless along the river; however beneficial, a need was still unmet.
“We felt like we were not developing a relationship,” said Rauch, “Many would come up grab their meals and leave. We want to build a relationship with these people to let them know that someone cares.”
Rauch added, “Our mission is to keep them alive until god can change their lives – many are not looking for a handout, but a hand-up.”
“I have seen individuals who’ve come in needing a meal and later become volunteers because the program changed their lives.” Said Rauch.
When and Where
At the Frist Presbyterian Church Social Hall, 326 Jay Street, in Colusa, A Hand Up serves lunch on Mondays starting at 11:30 AM, and dinner on Wednesday and Fridays starting at 5:00 PM.
“We do not have a commercial kitchen so we are unable to cook the meals at the church.” said Rauch, “Louis Cairo’s cooks for us on Monday’s and the Hospital cooks for us on Friday’s.”
Rauch also commented that the organization accepts nonperishable food donations and could always use the helping hands of volunteers.
“We are also looking for a cooking location on Wednesday’s,” said Rauch.
Coming Up Thanksgiving Dinner
On Thursday, November 27, the group will provide a full Thanksgiving Dinner prepared by volunteers at the Presbyterian Church Social Hall starting at 11:00 a.m.
“If you are looking for something to do on Thanksgiving, come out and help us serve,” said Rauch, “We will make sure that all of our volunteers will have the opportunity to have time to spend the afternoon with their families.
As the group prepares for Thanksgiving, the group seeks donations of Turkeys and non-perishable food items.
“Anyone wanting to cook a turkey can bring it to the Presbyterian Church on Thursday morning,” said Rauch, “thawed turkeys must be brought to us by Tuesday, and frozen turkeys must be to us by Monday.”
“Thanksgiving Dinner is open to anyone who would like to come and enjoy a good meal,” said Rauch, “If your alone this holiday or just tired of cooking, we would be glad to have you.”
For more information about A Hand Up, or to make a contribution or food donation contact Robin Rauch at (530) 635-1060.