Borrego Ministers Association Year End, Continuing Needs

By Michael Plekon – Originally Published on The ‘Borrego Sun’ Website

Readers of the San Diego Union-Tribune will have seen numerous articles in the last few months about food insecurity, the need for food by many households and individuals across the county.

The most recent, on Sunday, January 7, further revealed that with donations decreasing, the major outlets for food banks and soup kitchens, were really feeling the crunch of not being able to purchase enough food for hungry people.

The Cushman-Jacobs San Diego Food Bank and Feeding America San Diego were two of the food providers who are suppliers to the seven food banks that are open each month here in Borrego at The Community Resource Center and at St Barnabas and St Richard churches.

The Borrego Ministers Association (BMA), a coalition of laity and clergy from several Borrego churches, takes up food insecurity among its several forms of outreach assistance to neighbors in need. In the past year, Borregans were generous to the tune of just over $144,000 in contributions to the BMA. Many individuals gave, along with some of the churches themselves and organizations like Rams Hill and the Rotary, and both The Center Market and The Desert Pantry.

The two food stores provide grocery coupons in addition to those purchased by the BMA and these help households manage food costs along with the help from the local food banks. Grocery coupons are by far the largest category of assistance, almost $80,000 distributed by the BMA in 2023. In addition, the BMA makes small grants for utilities and rent costs, occasionally transportation as well, though people are directed to the “Let’s Go Borrego” program for ongoing transportation assistance.

In addition to sponsoring community services for Christmas and Easter and Ashes-to-go for Ash Wednesday, the BMA now sponsors a grief and loss support group that meets monthly at The Community Resource center. Check the town bulletin boards, the BMA website and Facebook page for details.

As we start a new year, one view would be that the needs of Borregans, young and old, will continue, balancing costs of food with the need for paying rent and utilities and other expenses.

The BMA chooses to see the good will, care for the community and generosity of Borregans as cause for hope and a witness to further outreach and assistance in 2024. Please consider contributing.

The BMA mailing address is BMA, PO Box 2183, Borrego Springs CA 92004.