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New in September: Healing More Than Hunger, WPE In Mexico, and More!

Updated: Sep 23, 2023



Dear Friends,


Happy September! Can you believe fall is around the corner?! It’s been a busy summer with many new initiatives underway at WPE. In this newsletter, we’ll share more about our Food Is Medicine program, our partnership with Women Forward International to build a food rescue model in Veracruz, Mexico, preparations for our upcoming auction, and more! But before we dive in, I’d like to commemorate WPE’s 10th anniversary by reflecting on our founding story.


You probably heard that our beloved founder, Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, passed away earlier this year. When Dr. Conner founded WPE in 2013, she envisioned “a simple solution that can end the problems of hunger and marginalization for good—a new paradigm: voluntary shared abundance!” Guided by her vision and our motto, all of us taking care of all of us, WPE has since rescued and delivered more than 25 million pounds of nutritious food and more than 1.5 million items of new clothing and emergency supplies, all free of charge.


Not only is her spirit and legacy felt in all we do at WPE, but leaders like Congressman DeSaulnier and Congressman Garamendi have also recognized Dr. Conner’s life’s work in the Congressional Record. Nearly every city in Contra Costa County has issued a Proclamation honoring the impact she had in their jurisdictions and beyond.


During a recent city council meeting in Antioch, public officials stated, “We are deeply grateful for Dr. Conner’s compassionate heart, dedicated work, diligent hands, and exceptional leadership. Her legacy will live on through her nonprofits, which serve food, clothing, and beautify neighborhoods throughout the country.”


As we continue to say YES to meeting the needs in our community and providing access to health and nutrition, we reflect on the words of our late founder, “White Pony Express is built on the understanding that in this beautiful world we share, love knows all, does all, and is the most powerful force in the universe!”


Very warmly,

Eve Birge

Executive Director

 

Food Is Medicine: Healing More Than Hunger

People with chronic ailments such as diabetes and high blood pressure have better health outcomes if they can eat a healthy diet. Sadly, many bear the brunt of steep medical expenses, limited income because of disability, and inaccessible grocery stores. WPE co-locates weekly food distributions with Mobile Health Clinics in Contra Costa County to support these neighbors. Doctors at the clinics refer their patients to us, where they are able to access high-quality food specific to their medical needs free of charge. The food we distribute adheres to nutritional guidelines for people with a wide range of conditions.


Deb, a volunteer at our Food Is Medicine distribution in Martinez, recently shared this story: “One unhoused gentleman would never speak a word but had the kindest eyes and nature. Gradually, after a few gentle hellos and greetings, he began to talk to me. Now, every time I see him, he smiles and immediately comes over with a new adventure to share. All he wants is crunchy peanut butter and a bag of healthy groceries! He had an aphasic stroke many years ago and has been afraid to talk to people. He felt his stutter and slurred words would make people afraid of him. I can tell you that I no longer hear him stutter, and I absolutely love to see the beautiful smile he was hiding from the world. To think, a little food and a ‘hello’ was all it took for him to find comfort in the crowd.”


Want to learn more about joining our team of volunteers to provide hope and drive lasting change? Interested in donating food to help nourish even more neighbors? Visit https://www.WhitePonyExpress.org to get started.

 

White Pony Express in Mexico!

White Pony Express (WPE) has continued our partnership with Women Forward International (WFI), a non-profit that brings together academic teams with businesses and non-profit organizations to carry out action-oriented research and implement their most innovative solutions.


In 2023, WFI is applying what we have learned working together in Mexico through a food rescue pilot project in Veracruz based on the principle of shared abundance with a focus on women and girls. To support this goal, a remarkable research team from the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City is developing a sustainable food rescue action plan in consultation with WPE through a WFI program grant. Sponsored by TC Energy, WFI is working in collaboration with organizations in Mexico, the United States, and Canada to address the needs of communities and individuals vulnerable to food insecurity, especially women and girls.


In a press release highlighting this project, WFI founder Kent Davis-Packard stated, “We seek to implement a new paradigm of lasting change that goes beyond traditional philanthropic concepts. The studies we support uncover game-changing innovations.”


“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to continue our partnership with WFI and key thought partners and collaborators,” said WPE Chief Operations Officer Merry Dempsey. “Together, we’re harnessing WPE’s proven approach to identifying fresh, healthy surplus and ensuring immediate, high-quality customized deliveries. We believe that through these efforts, we can actualize food justice and environmental justice the world over!”

 

WPE Receives Top Rating from Charity Navigator for 2023

For the second year in a row, Charity Navigator rated White Pony Express 100% and four stars. With nearly 200,000 charities rated, the assessment organization’s comprehensive scale highlights a nonprofit’s cost-effectiveness and overall health, including stability, efficiency, and sustainability. This rating is rare. Fewer than one-tenth of 1% of nonprofits ever receive a perfect score. In addition to the ranking, we were honored to be nominated for the Charity Navigator Community Choice Awards in August.


“Our achievements are fueled by the hard work and dedication of our staff, volunteers, partners, and, of course, all of you!” said Senior Operations Manager Ana Bostick. “Your support of our mission to end hunger and protect the planet lets us know we are driving change in the right direction. THANK YOU and GO TEAM PONY!”


To learn more about our rating, visit https://www.CharityNavigator.org and type White Pony Express in the search bar.

 

Food Donations Needed!

Donating food isn’t just about reducing waste – it’s about ending food insecurity, answering a need, and providing a solution. It’s your business becoming a force for good in the community. If you own or are part of a business in the food industry (i.e., restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, etc.), we need your surplus food! Donating is simple. Email us at DonateFood@WhitePonyExpress.org, and we will schedule a pickup time. Our services are free of charge, and we will help your business remain compliant under Senate Bill 1383 - a win-win for all!


 

Help Us Celebrate WPE’s 10th Anniversary!

Donations Needed for Our Annual “All of Us” Auction

White Pony Express (WPE) will host our annual “All of Us” Auction to celebrate our 10th anniversary this fall. We will offer vacation getaways, original art, unique experiences, gift baskets, and more! The money raised during this event will go right back to our community by diverting high-quality food and goods from landfills and providing access to fresh, healthy food choices to over 90 nonprofits that serve our neighbors in need. The auction will open on October 15th, which means all items must be secured before October 10th.


If you or your business have an item or experience to donate, please contact Maisie at maisie@whiteponyexpress.org or 925.510.4026.


Thank you for your support and commitment to ending hunger!

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