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Community Activist Beats Depression By Giving Back to Low Income Families — Says, “Healing Comes Through Serving”

— 50-year old Robert Flournoy, founder of Loaves and Fishes x10, works with local farmers to give away more than 250,000 pounds of fresh produce every year to families in need. —

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Orange County, CA — Depression is the clinical term for a person who is going through an emotional and physical disorder characterized by a general loss of interest and chronic feelings of sadness. Although Robert Flournoy was going through this disease, it didn’t detour him from his yearning to help others in need. Sixteen years ago in Santa Ana, a city that’s known for gangs and drugs, he was living in Tustin and started helping the homeless because this passion was greater than his situation. Their needs were more important than his own life struggle, so he made it his mission to see that they were taken care of and that they knew they had a friend. Robert unknowingly began his journey to fight hunger 17 years ago when he made a commitment to support these seven homeless people in Tustin, CA.

For an entire year, he primarily used his personal income, with a few donations from friends and family, to provide these individuals with hygiene products, food, and meals during the holidays and throughout the year. The thought of people being out in the cold would literally keep him awake at night, and sometimes he would go out at late hours, just to make sure they were alright. Through his tireless efforts he was able to convince some them to go back home to live with families. Robert was given the name Pastor Bob by the first homeless person he met. This name had spread to the point that spouses of the homeless looked for Pastor Bob just to find out where their significant other was because they had heard that he was taking care of them.

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OC Register –

Irvine farm earns honor for local support of food donations
Last year, The Original Manassero Farms donated 250,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to feed those in need. State Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana, is scheduled to honor the Irvine-based grower for its charity today at the Westminster Family Fitness Day, an annual event launched by the senator to promote exercise and healthy eating.Read more



OC Register

Juric: Appreciation comes through volunteering

As parents, my husband and I are always reminding our children how appreciative they should be for having a roof over their head, food on the table and a stable and loving family to support them.There are so many people out there who are not as fortunate.Read more

OC Register

Good Works: Volunteers harvest produce in Irvine


The nonprofit organization Loaves And Fishes x10 brought together a diverse group of volunteers recently to pick green beans and cucumbers that were then donated to the Orange County Ronald McDonald House.Read more


OC Register

Volunteers sought for gleaning in Irvine

Not-for-profit group Loaves and Fishes x10 is seeking volunteers to help with gleaning projects this summer to help feed those who are hungry. The group will be gleaning on The Original Manassero Farms and Orange County Great Park, both in Irvine, with more than 170 acres. Read more


OC Register –

Irvine schools: Uni places in academic bowl


Food distributed to veterans, needy students  On Friday, April 20, several Southern California groups came together to distribute food to Irvine Valley College veterans and needy students.  Read more


OC Register

Turkey Shortage Hampers Holiday Meal For Need


SANTA ANA – Robert Flournoy has 800 boxes of stuffing and 2,500 pounds of potatoes to give the needy of Santa Ana a Thanksgiving turkey dinner next week.  He just doesn’t have enough turkeys. Flournoy expects as many as 5,000 people to come for the all-day Thanksgiving event – a sign, he said, of how hard the economic recession has hit. He’s the director of the Path of Hope Foundation, which has been hosting the turkey dinners for 44 years. Read more


OC Register

Teens’ winning recipe: Teamwork, practice and love


The idea was to cook a healthy meal that teens across American would want to eat at their school cafeterias to help defeat obesity and diabetes that can affect lower-income residents in places like Santa Ana and across the country. Read more


Three High School Inc. Students Win at National Culinary Competition
Monica Aguilar, culinary arts instructor at Valley High and business partner with High School Inc., provided an instrumental role in the overall development of the students’ customer service skills and program support. Read more

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter is to support the non-profit organization Loaves & Fishes X 10 and the president, Mr. Robert Flournoy.

I am compelled to tell you that Mr. Flournoy has been very instrumental to our students and the High School Inc.,CulinaryArts & Hospitality Academy which includes 2,300 at-risk students inSanta AnaatValleyHigh School. We, the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce and theSanta AnaUnifiedSchool Districthave a partnership to develop the economic base for the City of Santa Ana. Our students are the poorest in theSanta AnaUnifiedSchool Districtand have the highest drop-out rate in the county.  With our program, High School Inc. we provide hands-on training such as cooking in class that also includes oral presentation, pallet development, career exploration in the industry, and much more.  We aim at the critical thinking and problem solving skills that are needed on the job besides culinary training.

Mr. Flournoy came to our aid when the school was without a budget to provide food for cooking labs.  We calculated that we needed $500 in groceries per week for cooking labs at Valley High.  Mr. Flornoy was so helpful and generous to provide for us that he has stayed on as a full-fledged academy member, we value his affiliation so much.  He continues with us in many other ways that benefit the students.  He provides field trips to the farms for gleaning, an important piece for culinary students to learn how produced is raised and harvested.  He provides food for our competition team; see the attached article for information, as we have the national champions for Cooking Up Change, a national award that is given to top students who have made a school lunch, using cafeteria food selections and dietary restrictions.  They have recently come fromWashingtonD.C. where they met with the U.S. Department of Education and made their award-winning dish for Congress.

Our success has been largely from Mr. Flournoy and others like him.  We count of their involvement and their commitment to help us from training techniques, food preparations and food.  We are so pleased to have made connections with Loaves & Fishes x 10.  It is an organization that truly cares about the community.

I completely support what Loaves & Fishes x 10 provides for the greater good of the community.  If you can support him as well, I know you will not have any reservations.

Sincerely,

Sharon Gomez

Director

High School Inc. Academies

1801S. Greenville


OC Register-

HUNGER HITS HOME BUT SO DO SOLUTIONS
The Great Recession created a long list of economic hardships for Orange County residents, including, sadly, hunger.Many people simply don’t understand the significant impact hunger has on our community. Hunger doesn’t just exist in small pockets of society, in certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods — it’s everywhere.  Read more

 


BRINGING IN THE HARVEST, ONE MORE TIME

The ancient practice of gleaning helps feed OC needy population

BY LESLIE BERKMAN     OCTOBER 12, 2015

 

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                                                                                                        COURTESY OF LOAVES AND FISHES X 10
On a warm Saturday morning about 20 men, women and children, wearing wide-brimmed hats and baseball caps to shield them from the sun, crouched in rows of leafy green vines in Irvine’s Great Park.They lifted the vines, revealing scattered clusters of succulent green beans that they plucked and tossed into crates they dragged beside them. Starting tentatively, they picked up tempo, spreading into the broad, verdant field.What was going on is described in the biblical law of ancient Israel as gleaning: collecting the leftovers of the harvest that rightfully belong to the needy.Says Leviticus 19:9-10, “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien.” In Palestine the poor would pick just behind the farmer’s harvesters.Modern gleaning has a different twist. The pickers in the bean field that Saturday were not hungry widows, orphans or aliens. They were people with good jobs—including an ophthalmologist, a pharmacist and a solar panel salesman. They brought children to learn where food comes from and the joy of helping others. Also, volunteers were permitted to take some of the yield of their labor home for their families.Still, their main purpose was to feed the poor with beans left behind by the commercial pickers. In an hour and a half the group harvested 550 pounds of beans that they took to a church in Midway City with large numbers of elderly Vietnamese immigrants on fixed incomes.robert 2The farmer who cultivated the beans, A.G. Kamamura––the former California Secretary of Agriculture––said he had paid his own pickers to harvest the field twice and it would not have been economically practical for him to harvest the same vines a third time. So he called for the gleaners. If it weren’t for the volunteer pickers, he says, the leftover beans would have been plowed into the earth.Kamamura says that he has allowed gleaners onto his fields for 30 years. “We grow it for people to eat and not to throw it away, and so we are happy whenever we are able to work with our volunteers and the food banks,” he says.Gleanings by volunteers—ranging from church groups to Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and Navy officer reservists––are arranged by Robert Flournoy. On evenings during the work week, Flournoy, a 50-year-old Tustin resident, earns his living as a custodian at Irvine Valley College. He spends the weekdays and weekends collecting and delivering to food banks and community feeding centers the fruit and vegetables that are gleaned by volunteers or donated by farmers. [/read]

Flournoy Gives Away Food

pic 6By Dianne Anderson Staff Writer:Gleaning, that old biblical concept of free food for the taking, has become a lifetime passion for Robert Flournoy, who is happy to see the fruit of his labor in one hand and out the other. Flournoy, President and founder of Loaves and Fishes x10, is a middleman for area farms, such as Orange County Produce and The Original Manassero Farms. In the past month, Flournoy has given away about 40,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables for the hungry. His life has revolved around food, either working with food banks, or his own distribution, over the past 15 years. Typically, he’s out in the fields around sunrise, hauling numerous 60 pound crates of produce in his van twice a day, picking up the less desirable “number two’s.” The stores get the “number ones.” “The number two’s are not as pretty. They may be crooked, but they’re just as edible. People like us go to the store and we want the pretty stuff. Farmers know that,” he said. So he and volunteers pick up what’s left behind, and it’s a lot. Flournoy, who worked at food banks for 11 years, connected a few years ago with Irvine Valley College and The Original Manassero Farms about gleaning their fields. Since partnering, he has increased his own donations from 5,000 pounds of produce to area food pantries the first year, to 250,000 pounds to help feed tens of thousands in 2013. That’s not counting the food he might have given away if other farms were also on board with the gleaning concept. “But they just let it rot out,” he said. “Manassero is one farm that allowed me to go in and take what I can through gleaning, and they are donating to me as well.” Connecting with farms that are willing to give food away could help knock down the food insecurity across the country. However, many farmers do not allow gleaning, even as they waste countless tons of produce monthly. [/read more]

Irvine Community News & Views

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Exploring The Original Manassero Farms

by Cheryl Honig.

The feeling starts in your feet as you step out of your car onto the gravel parking lot.  It works its way up to your fingers and nose as you stroll through the herbs, feel their textures, and savor their aromas.  You sense this is a special place because you feel transported and calm at the same time.

Gazing out to the fields reminds you that this is the stuff that has been sustaining the human race since the beginning of time — fresh fruits and vegetables.  This field (the Irvine Market location along Jeffrey Road, next to Irvine Valley College) is courtesy of Dan and Anne Manassero, part of a third-generation farming family that has been growing the tastiest strawberries and other wonderful produce since 1922.

But they do much more than grow and sell it.  They give it away, too!  The Original Manassero Farms has partnered with Loaves and Fishes X10 to distribute donated fresh produce to food pantries and food banks across Orange County — 250,000 pounds were donated in 2014.  That’s a lot of harvesting…and heart!

The Manasseros have succeeded in helping us escape the frenzy of modern life by creating their Irvine Market location, where you can browse shelves of jams and preserves, canned veggies, raw organic honey, and specialty salsas.  But there’s more — try “Breakfast in the Barn,” learn a thing or two at a “Farm to Fork” cooking class, or design a “Pick Your Own Event” for any occasion.  By supporting The Original Manassero Farms, we uplift the entire community.  That’s a good and tasty thing to do!  Visit http://www.manasserofarms.com/ to learn more.


Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Donation

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Thanks to Robert Flournoy, President of Loaves and Fishes x10 for generously donating fresh fruit and vegetables to the Orange County Ronald McDonald House this weekend! He brought freshly picked green beans, zucchini, fresh cucumbers, and apples. The families love having fresh produce in the Ronald McDonald House kitchen, and this donation was very much appreciated! Loaves and Fishes x10 has generously offered to supply the Orange County Ronald McDonald House with fresh produce on a regular basis!

Orange County Ronald McDonald House


The Original Manassero Farms

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Charitable Donations

The Original Manassero Farms has partnered with Loaves and Fishesx10 to stomp out hunger through their ongoing gleaning/harvesting projects. Read more

Loaves and Fishesx10 deliver donations to food pantries around Orange County to glean/harvest free, fresh produce for the low income communities they serve. Loaves and Fishesx10 also partners with local food banks to arrange for community food distributions that help provide families with a week’s worth of food. If you would like to join the cause or learn more contact Robert Flournoy at www.loavesandfishesX10.com[/read]

 


ACROSS THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA:

Irvine Valley College
Classified Senate Campus
and Community Outreach

Irvine Valley College Senate members Carol Danna, Robert Flournoy and Vince Cooper have been instrumental in leading their peers in making a difference on their campus and in the local community.Read more

Carol has organized IVC employees to participate in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. “Two years ago I went to the distribution center by myself and was so moved that I wanted to take my friends the following year to share the joy of giving to children in need. Last year, I took 20 classified staff members and friends with me and this year I’m confident we will have 50” said Carol Danna.  Our goals for this season are to donate 100 filled boxes for boys and girls and provide 50 volunteers to spend one evening filling and loading shoeboxes for shipment. The boxes are typically filled with toiletries, school supplies, hard candies and a toy. They are shipped worldwide to needy children around the globe. Robert and Vince are doing outstanding work providing food for veterans and E.O.P.S. students and their families at Irvine Valley College. Fresh vegetables, fruit, canned goods, rice, beans and cereal were collected from college employees, local food banks and farmers. It was a team effort to collect the various food items, sort the goods into boxes and distribute them to the recipients. Each family received approximately sixty pounds of food and other basic necessities. Returning veterans from the war currently attending college are going through a difficult time in this economy. They do receive financial assistance for their tuition, but it is difficult for veterans to find work to help make ends meet. Robert and Vince, with the assistance of the Classified Senate, have created a team effort to collect, sort, and distribute donations to those who need help the most.  IVC will be hosting another food drive with a distribution scheduled for Friday, December 7, 2012. In addition, Robert also coordinates with local farmers to glean their fields of fruits and vegetables that are transported and donated to local food banks for needy families.  As stated by IVC Classified  Senate President, Dennis Gordon,  “One of our goals as a Classified Senate has been to increase our awareness of the needs of individuals and families on our campus and in our local community. Our participation and volunteerism is not just a way to give back to the campus and local community, but also provide our members a spiritual feeling of doing well.
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Honored Awards And Recommendation

Food: Gleaners Save Lives

Bringing In The harvest One More Time

Salt Of The Earth

Flournoy Gives Away Food

Irvine Community News And Views

Receiving My California Senate Resilution

Senator Lou Correa Hosting Family Fitness Day

Irvine Valley College’s Josh Popke Named OEC’s Male Character Champion – Orange Empire Conference

AbilityFirst Newport Mesa Center and the families they provide services for donated enough Thanksgiving

Meet The People Who Are IVC: Staff Member Robert Flournoy Launches Campus Food Drive Program

OC Register -Irvine farm earns honor for local support of food donations

OC Register – Juric: Appreciation comes through volunteering

OC Register – Irvine schools: Uni places in academic bowl

eNewsChannel

CaliforniaNewswire