By Maya Pottiger
When Chuck Yocum founded Caring Cupboard LLC, he intended it to be a pilot program at one school for one year.
Now, a little more than one year later, the Caring Cupboard has expanded to seven county schools, and it’s still growing.
“It’s totally exceeded my expectations,” Yocum said. “When I walk into our storage facility and I look around at all the food, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh. How did we get here? And, more importantly, how are we going to get this out into the community so the community can benefit from this?’”
Since its inception, the Caring Cupboard has served roughly 300 families with more than 400 distributions.
The Caring Cupboard has held a variety of food drives in the last year. After partnering with the Pasadena Business Association in November 2018, Yocum said the donations kept rolling in.
“We’ve had so much come in, we started looking for other avenues to give back,” Yocum said.
Currently, Yocum is working with a local agency to install Little Free Pantries at locations around the county.
“Our volunteers would make sure it stays filled,” Yocum said. “Theoretically, people would leave stuff in there as they had stuff to leave. If it’s in a community of high need, people might not have anything to put in, so we’re going to monitor them and restock as necessary.”
As part of its growth, the Caring Cupboard is no longer limited to supplying food. Inside the storage facility, there are sections of school, pet and baby supplies.
“I want to see us go from just helping schools to helping the larger community, families who may not have a student in school,” Yocum said.
Coming up, Yocum hopes to have a school supplies giveaway in August. Then, On September 16, the Caring Cupboard is having a food drive at Compass Pointe Golf Courses during the Complete Player Charity second annual golf tournament.
“I’m proud of my community,” Yocum said. “I’m proud of them for stepping up and helping out. I really am. I knew it was a great community; I didn’t know how giving they were.”