White Pony Express: Urgent Call for Volunteers
Jun 27, 2016 11:46AM
● By Elena Hutslar
Volunteer Brenda Barnhart works with a recipient unloading food for the Bay Area Rescue Mission
White Pony Express (WPE) is a nonprofit group that delivers fresh, top-quality food and clothing, toys, and children's books for free to those in need in the county. WPE has an urgent need for more volunteers.
WPE Rescues Food
Seven days a week, WPE food rescue volunteers take trucks to supermarkets, restaurants, and farmers’ markets to pick up high quality, nourishing, surplus food that would otherwise be thrown away. It’s then delivered to Contra Costa non-profit groups that feed the hungry.
In two and a half years, WPE has delivered more than 3,000,000 pounds of meat, dairy, eggs, produce, deli, and baked goods, the equivalent of 2,500,000 meals the hungry would have gone without.
WPE Stages “Mobile Boutiques”
WPE’s Free General Store has staged 35 “mobile boutiques” and taken 245,000 items to underserved parts of the county. Residents in need can “shop” for new or like-new clothing, shoes, toys, games, and books and then take them home.
Founded to Serve Others
Carol Weyland Conner, PhD, spiritual director of Sufism Reoriented, founded WPE in 2013 when she realized that in a county of such abundance, thousands were going hungry while food retailers were throwing out huge quantities of healthy, fresh food. Dr. Conner developed WPE’s Food Rescue and Free General Store to enable those who have more than they need to easily give to those with less, allowing all to share in the abundance of life. She wanted service for WPE to spring from the heart, so today WPE's food and goods are free and the work is done entirely by volunteers who want to help, purely in the spirit of service.
In less than three years, White Pony Express has gone from serving zero to 60,000 county residents in need. "This has only been possible because of the selfless service of 400 volunteers who find great satisfaction and joy in being helpful to others," says Executive Coordinator Gary Conner. "Going forward, our ability to help our neighbors is limited only by the number of people who join us. We welcome more volunteers! We have many roles available with flexible schedules. Just give us a call!"