–When Sergeant Rick Lehr of the Paso Robles Police Department learned that Loaves and Fishes is experiencing a food shortage, he, along with some of the other sergeants, approached Commander Caleb Davis with an idea for the entire department to participate in helping replenish the pantry.
The idea, to create a competition to see who could bring in the most food, sounded “fantastic” to Davis. “I thought the plan was fantastic and of course I wanted to join in,” said Davis.
The department has separated its teams to decrease the potential spread of COVID-19. The officers are not seeing each other as normal. Davis thought a friendly competition was a great opportunity to give back to the community while joining the department in a great cause.
“One of my officers contacted Loaves and Fishes to see if they needed the support. To no surprise, we learned they are passing out three to four times the amount of food and can certainly see some shortages,” said Davis.
Turns out the greatest need is currently for peanut butter and tuna because these items are in high demand right now. “Of course, Loaves and Fishes can use all types of donations, but this was the request, so that’s the competition,” said Davis.
Maria Sabi, Executive Director of Loaves and Fishes said the organization is serving twice as many people as normal. “We are super grateful to the police department. They helped us with home deliveries last November and have been a great help to Loaves and Fishes many times.”
The competition was extended to include the entire Paso Robles police family in the attempt to get more supplies and to unify the department toward a greater community need. “Technically, we have seven teams participating,” said Davis.
“Overall, I think officers will have fun with it, since it’s not required and we all got into this profession to give back in one way or another. Most of us never thought it would be in the form of peanut butter and tuna but, hey, whoever thought parents would all be teaching their own children from home?”
Because the need at Loaves and Fishes is immediate, the competition ends on Mon, April 20. The collected food will be weighed to determine the winning team.
Sabi said monetary donations are gratefully accepted through the Loaves and Fishes website, or by sending a check, payable to Loaves and Fishes, to 2650 Spring Street, Paso Robles, CA 93446
“Due to COVID-19, and to maintaining personal distance, we are not currently accepting personal food donations from individuals,” said Sabi.