Community Needs : Homelessness
This grant will replace a van used for collecting and distributing donated food to 450 PATH clients as well as a dozen agencies that feed the homeless.
PATH’s assists homeless people to secure permanent housing; the agency also provides comprehensive support services to maintain housing, financial, and health stability.
PATH is also an essential link in a local food supply chain for the homeless in south Santa Barbara County. Each day a PATH staff member uses the agency’s van to collect soon-to-expire food from all three Trader Joe’s stores and other food outlets. The value of the donations from Trader Joe’s alone amounts to over $1.2 million annually, and such contributions account for almost 90% of the food that PATH provides to its clients.
Volunteers sort the food and retain what is needed to provide three nutritious meals per day for the 450 clients served by PATH each year. The extra food is transported to 12 other agencies serving the homeless, for an average of 15 food-related trips daily.
This grant will purchase a new cargo van and will cover insurance, a security camera, vehicle registration, exterior branding, and a custom interior appropriate for transporting food. This food program prevents food waste, supports multiple agencies, and is a cost-effective way for PATH to provide much-needed nutrition for people who are homeless.