Thank you, San Manuels!

For those of you who only know the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians for their bingo hall and casino, you’re only getting part of the story.

The San Manuels have a strong tradition of giving back to the community.

Just some of the donations granted this year by the tribe:

  • $250,000 to Priscilla’s Helping Hands, an outreach program that addresses the immediate need of families for food, clothing and shelter and then works to set out a path to self sufficiency through adult education and social services.
  • $100,000 for the development of a skate park at Speicher Park in San Bernardino, within the Operation Phoenix target area.
  • $500,000 towards the construction of Veronica’s Home of Mercy II, an 80-bed women and children’s shelter.

So what does this have to do with food in the Inland Empire?

Today the tribe donated $500,000 to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

The Second Harvest Food Bank serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping end hunger throughout the two-county region, and helping the community understand the problem of local hunger.

In operation since 1980, it has distributed over 300 million pounds of donated food, and currently works with a network of 440 charitable agencies who serve over 250,000 people each month who are in need.

Second Harvest provides food resources to emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, residential programs including victims of domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, group homes, and day care centers for children and seniors.

The gift is to aid Second Harvest with transporting food throughout the Inland Empire.

Second Harvest needs to replace eight older semi trucks with newer models to meet regionally mandated emissions regulations before the end of 2010. The $500,000 will enable Second Harvest to purchase newer model trucks and keep donated food moving from donors to their warehouse and out to the communities served by more than 440 nonprofit agencies.

The San Manuels’ gift is the largest grant received by Second Harvest Food Bank.

Since August of 2008 the San Manuel tribe has donated over $700,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank, to ensure that food for those in need remains available.

Second Harvest is integral in the Inland Empire’s fight against hunger, and we here at Dine 909 are grateful for their efforts. We are also very grateful to the San Manuels for their very generous donations to Second Harvest to keep their efforts going.