We need your help! May 31st is the last day for our spring fundraising campaign – That’s less than two weeks away! We have raised $103k and our goal is to raise $150k. This means we have $47k to go! $150k has been pledged in matching funds, so every dollar you give will be doubled. To give a little insight into how your donation will be put to work, $100 will provide 6 backpacks with healthy snacks, ponchos, and warm socks to our unhoused neighbors. $500 will create 600 healthy meals for low-income seniors. $5k will supports the care and maintenance of one of our 12 delivery vehicles for six months. $10k sponsors 5 pop-up mobile grocery boutiques featuring fresh, delicious food and other survival essentials.
In Contra Costa County, 1 in 6 people are food insecure, yet 40% of all food is thrown away and ends up in landfills. At a time when emergency food benefits have run dry and food prices continue to rise with inflation, meeting our $150k goal is more important than ever.
96% of all donations will go directly back to the community through our programs. Your funds will help us rescue more food and ensure that our 90 nonprofit recipient partners receive exactly what they want when they need it most. It will also enable us to say YES! to the agencies on our waitlist for food.
Since WPE was founded by Dr. Carol Weyland Conner in 2013, we have rescued over 24 million pounds of fresh food and due to the hard work of our volunteers and supporters like you, we have been recognized by Charity Navigator as a Four-Star Charity Organization – the highest rank achievable.
There’s not much time, so we hope you will take action and join us in saying YES! today. Together we will work to eliminate hunger, poverty, and food waste across the Bay Area, and beyond.
Please help spread the word and share the following link with your networks: >> https://donorbox.org/say-yes-to-white-pony-express
In this edition of our newsletter, we’re sharing highlights from the last few weeks about our passionate volunteers, recipient partners, and an update from our General Store. We hope you enjoy!
Your White Pony Express Team
White Pony Express’s School Pantry Program Featured in The Richmond Standard
Our team is excited to share that White Pony Express was recently featured in The Richmond Standard for the work we’re doing through our School Pantry Program to provide fresh, healthy food to children and families in need.
In Richmond and San Pablo, over 80% of school students qualify for the free or reduced lunch plan, meaning they’re at risk of going without a meal. To combat this problem, we deliver 600-800 pounds of food twice a week to Coronado Elementary School, Ford Elementary School in Richmond, and EM Downer Elementary School in San Pablo.
Since implementing our School Pantry Program, school administrators have noted improvements in learning, attendance, participation, and behavior. We’re changing lives for the better as a result of putting love into action.
Thank you to The Richmond Standard for featuring WPE’s School Pantry Program and helping us spread awareness about food waste and how diverting healthy food from landfills can help end hunger for struggling families. To read the full article, follow this link.
Say "Yes!" to White Pony Swag!
Did you know you could make a difference by taking us with you wherever you go? Show your support, spread awareness, and start a conversation with a White Pony Express t-shirt, hoodie, hat, and water bottle. They’re cool, comfy, practical, and you’ll be doing a good deed because all proceeds go straight back into the community.
Two Days in the Life of a WPE Volunteer
VVolunteers are the heartbeat of White Pony Express. Thanks to their big hearts and boundless energy, love in the form of food and essential items is shared throughout our community every day. They show up, they work hard, they laugh, they serve! This month, we’re proud to introduce you to Paula, who has been uplifting lives with us for over six years!
“Tuesdays and Wednesdays are my favorite days of the week. These are the days that I volunteer at White Pony Express! I started volunteering 6 years ago. I sort food in the warehouse and deliver to 6 recipients on those days. I am amazed at the wholesome, fresh food that is donated to White Pony to distribute to our community. I have met such caring, loving people who truly care that our neighbors are nourished. It gives me a warm feeling to know that our recipients can go to sleep with the comfort of knowing they will have food for tomorrow. White Pony's slogan says it all: ‘All of us taking care of all of us’.” ❤
Thank you, Paula, for all that you do!
If you or someone you know is interested in giving the gift of time, please join our team as a volunteer! To learn more about our opportunities, visit https://www.whiteponyexpress.org/volunteer.
Honoring Our Elders
“As a senior on a fixed income, I am very grateful for the WPE program at Rodeo Gateway. The people connected with the deliveries are warm and compassionate and the donated food is always welcomed by the residents. I often wait to see what I will get on Tuesdays to plan my weekly food budget. It is very helpful for me, especially now that food prices have gone up considerably and making ends meet is a challenge.”
– Jill, resident and volunteer
In Contra Costa County, approximately 12,500 people age 65 and older live below the poverty line, which means that many make the challenging choice between monthly expenses like rent and groceries on a regular basis. If older adults can’t afford a healthy, nutritious meal, their health and well-being suffer. Every week, WPE helps thousands of seniors lead healthier, more independent lives by providing them with access to fresh, dependable – and delicious – food. At nearly all of our 90 nonprofit recipient partners, seniors are a vulnerable group that we deliver fresh food and clothing to. We also provide weekly groceries and pop-up mobile boutiques at low-income housing complexes.
One of our dedicated volunteers shares her experience providing food to the senior community at Rodeo Gateway, an affordable housing complex, and WPE recipient partner. “John [another WPE volunteer] and I make a delivery to Rodeo Gateway Senior Apartments every Tuesday, and I’m always blown away by the resident response when we arrive – big smiles and so grateful. A few staff members help us unload our delivery with carts and hand trucks. I personally hand-pick all the food that we deliver to Rodeo. I ensure they get a good variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, meat, eggs, dry goods, and dairy. We also bring flowers if available. I have to admit, this is one of our favorite deliveries; the joy is just contagious! John and I leave Rodeo smiling and counting the days until delivery next Tuesday!”
CeCe, a resident and food delivery volunteer, shares, “The food delivery has provided me with many fruits and vegetables I would not have been able to afford. Staples have been plentiful and have helped me lose 13 pounds along with my exercise. As a senior, I appreciate this assistance from White Pony Express! Thank you!”
Another resident, Tony, shares, “Any and all food is five stars across the board. WPE drivers have always been polite, courteous, and kind to the seniors that live here. On behalf of myself and my mother, who is going to be 91 years old and is an original resident of Rodeo Gateway Senior Apartments, I want to let you know how grateful we are for the fresh vegetables, fruits, and snacks provided by WPE. Especially during the difficult times right now. What an amazing service you do for all the seniors here.”
White Pony General Store Brings Smiles to Students in Need
The White Pony General Store is just one more way we say YES to meeting ALL needs in our community. While our organization focuses primarily on providing fresh, healthy food, we recognize there are other, similarly pressing needs that are also important to address. Back in March, we hosted a coat and warm clothing pop-up boutique at EM Downer Elementary, one of WPE’s 14 School Pantry sites.
The impact was greater than we had anticipated! We received 600 coat donations from Operation Warm, and they came in all kinds of colors, styles, and sizes for children to choose from. We were even able to offer homemade cookies and pastries as a treat!
“The students’ eyes lit up when they were invited to shop for a jacket of their choosing,” said General Store director Steve Harrell. “WPE volunteers helped students with sizes and styles, encouraging their creativity and unique preferences. One group of 5th-grade boys was so elated to have all found the exact same coat in just the right sizes. I asked them if they were coordinating because they were on a team or in a band, and one of the young men looked at me and replied with a huge smile, “We are the San Pablo crew!” The gleam in his eyes and their happiness made this exchange a highlight amongst many joyful moments at this memorable event!”