Senator Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, on Wednesday honored the United Samaritans Foundation as the 8th Senate District's Nonprofit of the Year for 2017.
Based in Turlock, USF is Stanislaus County's largest nonprofit direct food distributor to the hungry, serving 35,000 meals a month. To accomplish this feat, USF makes 48 stops through nine towns with four mobile lunch trucks, serving between 1,500 and 1,800 lunches Monday through Friday.
Of those who depend on USF, 64 percent come for meals four to five times a week. For 38 percent, this is their only access to fresh fruit and vegetables. For 31 percent, this is their only meal. More than a third of the program's participants are children, 13 percent are homeless, 12 percent are seniors and 12 percent are disabled.
In addition to the nutritious lunch program, USF offers clothing and support services to the needy. In 2016, more than 52,300 articles of clothing were given to nearly 6,200 people, while more than 500 people were able to access essential services like: showers, laundry, designated mailing addresses, phones and referrals.
"I'm so appreciative to the United Samaritans Foundation for its service to our district," Berryhill said. "It is a privilege to recognize its valuable contribution to the community."