It began when Dale Long, Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Club's president-elect, suggested that the Club volunteer to gather fruit in local orchards to donate to the Community Food Connection. In short order, the Club could see  there was still a greater need for more support, prompting Kim Varey, the Club's community chairperson to ask members to step up and do more.
The Club plans to help package food boxes to be given three times a week to those in need in the Poway/Penasquitos/Rancho Bernardo area. “During this pandemic when jobs are uncertain and unemployment benefits are dwindling, it is apparent that we need to pitch in with this hands-on project,” relayed Jeb Bakke, club president.
On a recent Friday morning, club members packed over 200 boxes of groceries that were donated by local supermarkets and  local gardens to be distributed to needy people. Anyone can drive up to the facility located behind the Trinity Church on Twin Peaks Road in Poway to receive a box. The Rotary club plans to help with packaging on an ongoing basis. There are plans to help with the upkeep and painting inside the facility as well.
According to Abraham Saddas, the VP of Community Food Connection, the organization has been in existence for 13 years. The non-profit facility exists on monetary donations, grants, and food donations from the community-at-large. The hours for the drive-up food distributions are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3-6 p.m. with no questions asked. Mr. Saddas said there are as many as 600 people per day being served during the pandemic.