Food Now, a nonprofit that provides supplemental food to the homeless in the Coachella Valley, received a $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, it was announced Wednesday.

The Coachella Valley Spotlight Grant was awarded to Food Now at a time when food distribution volume typically doubles. Founded in 1959, Food Now began in Guy Tedesco’s garage, which he turned into a food pantry, according to officials.

The organization became an official nonprofit in 1989, and in 2021, it distributed nearly 1 million pounds of food to those in need in the western Coachella Valley.

“Our food purchasing arrangements with Feeding America and FIND Food Bank allow us to provide five meals for $1, so a $25,000 grant is extremely impactful, and it’s coming when members of our community need it most,” said Dana Johnson, executive director of Food Now.

Food Now feeds around 40-50 homeless clients each day and provided food for about 1,700 households last year, about 4,100 individuals total, according to officials.

“Food Now is reaching people of all ages with various levels of food insecurity, all of which contribute to additional stress wondering where a next meal will come. This hits especially hard around the holidays, when there are more expenses and more expectations,” said Catharine Reed, vice president of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

Food Now distributes food and other essentials on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 to 10:30 a.m. at 14080 Palm Drive Suite E., Desert Hot Springs. To learn more, visit thefamilyservicesofthedesert.org.

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