Four times per year at different locations through SLO County, the Mobile Assistance and Services Addressing Homelessness group, also known as MASH, organizes a resource fair where homeless residents of San Luis Obispo County can get help from community members.
Attendees are usually offered a hot meal, haircuts, flu shots, eye glasses and many other free services. At the Food Bank table, people can learn about our No-Cook Bags (NCB) and pick up a sample bag as well. We pack and distribute these bags specifically for the homeless population who do not have access to a kitchen. The NCBs are full of shelf-stable, nutritious foods that don’t require a can opener, heating, or prepping of any kind. While the bags’ contents can vary from distribution to distribution, common items are canned fruit, cereal & granola bars, beans, nuts and peanut butter. Especially the latter one is everyone’s favorite, and not just because of the taste. Peanuts are full of protein and mono-unsaturated fats that fill you up for longer.
During the last fair on August 8th, 2018, at the South County Regional Center in Arroyo Grande, we met Haylie and her best friend Lilly. “My grandma has been receiving food from the Food Bank for several years now. She does not have a lot of money left over to buy enough to eat, so she tries to go a distribution once or twice per month,” explains Haylie who also said that she likes to help her grandmother with cooking meals from the food they receive.
The next MASH event will take place on October 24, 2018 at the Estrella Hal Paso Event Center in Paso Robles from 10am-2pm.