LEMOORE — Two local nonprofit groups received a pleasant surprise Tuesday morning in the form of a large donation.
While working on a project in Lemoore, workers with Minnesota-based renewable energy contracting company D.H. Blattner & Sons and Reno-based Solar Frontier donated more than $10,000 to split between two local food pantries.
“The old mentality is, as construction workers, we’re here today and gone tomorrow. So this is our way of giving back to the community,” said Blattner site manager Brian Cooper.
The funds were given to God’s Bread Box and Lemoore Christian Aid, two local organizations that provide food to locals who need it.
“It caught us off guard, it was a pleasant surprise,” said Lemoore Christian Aid Director Nick Francu.
The nonprofit, located at 224 N. Lemoore Ave., provides food and clothing to those who need it. Once every 45 days, individuals can claim essentials from the establishment. Founded in 1985, the nonprofit helps, on average, about 600 a month, Francu estimated.
Funded primarily through ReNewed, a thrift store on W. D St., any other source of financial assistance is much appreciated, Francu said. The non-profit relies on purchases made at ReNewed and community assistance to stay afloat.
“The reason we’re so successful, in my opinion, is because of the community and the people who donate clothing and food. I’ve had some people come in here and say, ‘I used to have to come in here when I was down on my luck and now I want to give back.’ That, to me, is a great reward,” he said.
He also credits the nonprofit’s diligent and hard-working volunteers.
God’s Bread Box distributes food on the fourth Saturday of each month at First Methodist Church, 500 E. Bush Street, Lemoore. The community outreach program was named the 2018 Organization of the Year by the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce.
“Any help is wonderful,” said chairman Valerie Phelps about the donation.
Phelps said that the organization gives out care packages to those in need, which generally consist of essentials that can create 3-4 meals.
From Feb. 10-21, all Blattner projects across the United States, along with the corporate office, participated in the annual food drive. This year’s drive more than doubled the proceeds of the previous year’s, bringing in $97,211 across the 30 food drives.
Cooper, based in Minnesota by way of Mississippi, has been on-site in Lemoore since November and said he’s had a good experience in the Central Valley.
“It’s wonderful. This is the warmest winter I’ve ever spent in my life. It’s awesome,” he said.