Patriot We Care: Hitchcock-Tulare community comes together to support one another during pandemic
By Shiloh Appel
Patriot We Care Fund, established on March 30th by an anonymous group in the Hitchcock-Tulare area, recently rose out of the pandemic and gained momentum with several generous donations, also anonymous. According to founders, the donations developed “through a conversation with some individuals about our Tulare and Hitchcock communities need, and it evolved from there. It was very obvious that there was a need.”
The need referred to was that of local families for nutritious food during uncertain times.
“COVID 19 plus the Ag economy is a good recipe for financial anxiety in our farm communities,” said a Patriot We Care Fund founder.
The fund has strong community support. Founders and volunteers collect and distribute food for local families in the Hitchcock and Tulare area and monetary donations are used to purchase food for distribution.
“Our only goal is to be helpful. That should be everyone’s goal. The smiles and ‘thank you’s’ lead us to believe we are having an impact,” said a founder. “The need is great. We can only do so much. The best thing we can do is to encourage others to help their neighbors.”
So far, more than $8,000 has been donated by many anonymous donors from the Hitchcock-Tulare area and those connected to the area. Volunteers have distributed boxes of food several times, giving away 40 to 50 boxes of food each time.
“We distribute as often as funds and the availability of supplies allow - it has been about every two to three weeks or so,” said a founder.
Distributed food includes all the staple ingredients needed to build a family meal. Items for kids to make their own meals are also provided, such as bread, peanut butter, and cereal.
Currently, the food pickup spot is at the old NESDCAP building on Highway 281 just south of Tulare Service. Those who would like to receive a box of food do not need to fit any particular criteria, but the service has been provided primarily to Hitchcock-Tulare area residents so far.
“I do know that other areas are looking at doing the same thing, as they have reached out to us,” said a founder.
To donate, or to request a box of food, founders can be contacted through email at [email protected] or through Facebook by private messaging the Patriot We Care Fund.
“We're happy to deliver or arrange a pick-up,” said founders. “Any support we receive will go toward providing more meals in our community.”