“Do you smell that? The ashes?”
As the window rolled down, you could smell the lingering smoke and ash from the fire that destroyed many homes and buildings in Alpine just a few days earlier. In total, the fire burned down 34 homes and left countless residents without power and in need of food and water.
Alpine was in need of help.
Feeding San Diego typically holds a food distribution at First Baptist Church of Alpine twice a month, but this distribution was going to be different. Packed on the truck were literally tons of extra food including 1,205 pounds of carrots, 1,000 pounds of cantaloupe, and corn, plums, and canned and boxed groceries for people to stock their cabinets and refrigerators.
When the truck pulled up, volunteers were already eagerly waiting to start setting up two long farmer’s market-style lines of food-laden tables to help their neighbors.
More than 100 families came to the distribution, including some whose homes burnt to the ground. Some of these people were regulars at the distribution, but others were attending for the first time.
“I worked at the food pantry down the street for a few years,” said Debbie, whose home was lost in the flames. “I know first-hand that one day you could be fine and the next day, you need to look to your neighbors for a helping hand.” The volunteers made sure she felt their love and compassion.
Unfortunately, fires are a constant threat in the lives of those living in Alpine. Many people in the area have experienced fires in the past, including many of the volunteers. Having been in their shoes before, the volunteers gave their hearts and souls to helping their neighbors who were now, sadly, the ones affected.