Clementine Mobile Pantry
Clementine Mobile Pantry
Since 1965, the Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAP OC) has addressed the root causes of poverty and advocated for change through systemic
reforms, social justice and racial equity. They are improving the lives of low-income families in Orange County by addressing immediate needs and empowering communities. Several years ago, CAP OC received a generous donation and were told to dream big with the funds.
Since food insecurity is an ongoing issue for low income families, CAP OC’s vision was a welcoming and friendly mobile food pantry so families could “shop” at the pantry. They wanted to remove the stigma of receiving free groceries for those they serve. With the donation, CAP OC purchased a 2005 workhorse trolley and completely customized it to look like a magical, colorful and happy mobile grocery store.
Clementine, the Mobile Pantry debuted in late 2019 and right away kids were drawn to it and families were able to receive fresh food, staples and nutritious frozen meals prepared by Bracken’s Kitchen two to three times a week at community centers and churches.
And then when the pandemic hit, CAP OC and Clementine had to change things up quickly.
“We didn’t let the pandemic stop us,” said Jacqueline Gaithe, Mobile Food Pantry Manager of CAP OC. “Instead of letting families shop at Clementine, we pre-packed food in bags or boxes for grab-n go and offer drive-thru distributions.”
Families receive a box of pantry staples, fresh produce, a two-pound block of cheese from the OC Food Bank, donors, food drives and frozen dinners from Bracken’s Kitchen that vary each week from macaroni and cheese, chicken Florentine, lasagna and chicken fajitas.
“Bracken’s Kitchen has been especially kind and generous to us by providing meals that everyone looks forward to every week,” said Jacqueline.
Every month, she visits up to 16 distribution sites in Orange County and carries enough food to serve 60 families per distribution. One mother said that she runs out of groceries at the end of the week for her family so Clementine is helping her with diapers and groceries.
“In an era with record food insecurity and unemployment, we are proud to have offered this unique and much needed program to our community for the past two years,” said Jacqueline.
We are honored to provide dinners to those served by the beautiful Clementine, and we’re thankful for our partnership.