Good Samaritan Community Food Pantry

On March 13th, 2020 Teri Sue was in Albertsons, right as the orders were given to shut down the city and isolate at home. Almost on que, schools began closing, gatherings were stopped, and businesses shutdown. She watched people lining up with grocery carts full of toilet paper, people hoarding and starting to panic.

On the home front COVID 19 was taking a very personal toll on Teri Sue. Without the ability to enter homes or businesses, her beloved profession of marketing in the home health care industry vanished overnight.  As she was driving home, she began thinking of what the future may bring as the effects of the pandemic were beginning to hit home. The thought came to her, what will happen to the seniors? If they are isolated, can’t go to the store, and are immune challenged, who will bring them food? How will they survive in isolation?  

With her love for seniors, her compassion for those quickly forced into isolation, and her skills as a chef … Teri Sue began to form a plan.

She told herself, “I will get food and necessary essentials and personally take them to the isolated seniors doorsteps, so they and their pets can feel loved and not be afraid of being alone without food”. When she arrived home, she found a white board and put the name Operation “Temecule” Food Drive on it (yes, she misspelled Temecula in her haste) and put the sign on a red plastic bin and placed it in her front yard!

Next, she posted her new mission on social media, requesting donations of food... and within a few days, a member of the Chamber of Commerce whom we love and respect, delivered the first donation of a frozen Turkey and some other food staples. This was followed by people from all over Temecula dropping off donations right to the front porch of her home. 

Operation Temecula Food Drive was born! 

Each day she would find another donation of essential food items in her red box, and she was so excited!  It was happening!  She would yell upstairs to her husband and shout out “delivery”! As her neighbors, chamber members, business owners and the community responded,
Dr. Bruce and Teri Sue would celebrate the new arrival of daily donations with tears of joy felt from the love and support of the community and for her mission.

One evening Teri Sue witnessed an elderly couple out for their evening walk, dropping a small staple of food into the box, and she looked at her with a big smile saying, “Thanks for helping our community”! Their donations came frequently and consisted of what they could comfortably carry on the walk; though small, they were adding to the box every night, and their donations came straight from their heart.

The community also reached out, giving Teri Sue the names and addresses of seniors, veterans and COVID families in need. In no time she was feeding over 150 seniors, veterans and families … even their pets!! One awesome realtor heard our cry for a freezer and brought a check over the next day. With perfect timing she arranged to have the freezer delivered right before their largest perishable order arrived!

Now with the gates of support open wide, more and more seniors and veterans were reaching out asking for help. Another Temecula charity, “MilVet”, reached out to Teri Sue telling of a veteran who was stricken with a heart attack while doing community service. He was struggling to feed his family and instantly food was taken to them. In that moment, families “At Risk” were added to those served. This seemed to be the natural extension of Teri Sue’s kind heart and wonderful spirit which was now fueling this humble start up. 

Yet as many people may know, growth comes with pain.

Though retired, Dr. Bruce and Teri Sue Parker opened up their home and turned the garage into a community food pantry. As they were growing, they have added shelving, freezers, refrigerators, and a lot of hard work.

The Operation Temecula Food Drive was serving many people, yet resources to continue the growing demand are running low, as the Parker’s personally fund growing costs, increased electric bills, auto expense and supplementing needed food items…

What was thought to be a community service for a few weeks, has developed into an organization. Teri Sue now sees it as a vision and purpose which will live on past her and expand to serve those in need in her community and surrounding areas. Someday she envisions handing the reigns over to her daughters, Ashley and Sabrina, who were raised helping their mom serve her community as host of her Oregon, hometown TV Show, Wake Up Lincoln City,

In fact, philanthropy seems to make up the core of Teri Sue’s being and has earned her nominations for Businesswoman of the year in Lincoln City Oregon, the title of Mrs. Lincoln County and Mrs. Congeniality at the Mrs. Oregon Pageant.

Teri Sue feels her daughters having been brought up in community service, are the perfect people to entrust the continuation of this new work. She plans to pass the mission to them when the time comes.

Understanding the big vision Dr Bruce has stated, “With our developing larger vision, we must build a strong foundation that will support the needs of those we serve. First, we will establish a non-profit organization to help our loving donors receive a tax benefit to reward their generosity. Next, we need funds to buy commercial refrigeration that will serve our growing needs and cover our costs of operations. Eventually, we will prepare to move to a more suitable facility as our needs dictate.

So as the growing needs required, Dr Bruce began the paperwork in June 2020. He received official notification that The Articles of Incorporation for a “Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation”, were approved and filled by the secretary of state, on August 25, 2020!

Now the benefactors can add their donations to the Good Samaritan Community Food Pantry, Inc. to the charitable contributions line on their tax return and receive the appropriate credit.

From the little red box and the misspelled sign Operation Temecula Food drive, to becoming “The Good Samaritan Community Food Pantry, Inc”., A 501(C)(3) “Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation” the humble mission of Dr. Bruce and Teri Sue Parker is just getting started.

Recently Teri Sue, the nonprofit’s visionary is now being recognized for doing great work, as the community is rallying around her.

Beginning with the California Assembly Member for the 75th district, Marie Waldron, recognizing Teri Sue Parker as the districts COVID-19 Hero and being nominated as the Citizen of the Year by The Temecula Chamber of Commerce.

Plus catching the eye, of ABC channel 7 Eyewitness news, who just completed an interview with Dr. Bruce and Teri Sue, for a feature story on the Good Samaritan Community Food Pantry.  

All of this validates that, The Good Samaritan Community Food Pantry has planted solid roots in Temecula, and will continue to serve isolated seniors, or any senior in need; Families at risk, Veterans, and generate whatever support they can for those individuals with terminal illness, as they have already been serving.

What has kept Dr. Bruce And Teri Sue Parker motivated to spend countless hours in serving this community, is broken down into what they refer to as, God shots!

One senior was referred to us by a Temecula business owner who was concerned about her friend, an isolated senior, who has an auto immune disease and diabetes. Teri Sue gathered some donated food which included a bag of flour and fresh lemons that had been donated a day prior.  Since we had never met her, Teri Sue left her a note, explaining who we were and how we got her name. She wanted her to feel safe in consuming a strangers delivery, and that it was being delivered with love and support.

The next morning this woman called Teri Sue and asked if she was an angel... not looking for any label or glory Teri Sue responded with, “No, I am no angel, I feel more like a vessel.”

The woman went on to describe how she had prayed the night before for flour and lemons so she could make lemon bars for wounded veterans, and she had run out of supplies.

She explained that she hardly ever goes out of her house but that morning she felt an urge to go and check her mail, when she stumbled upon a box of food…which included flour and lemons! She was convinced they were sent from above and Teri Sue was the angel that had delivered them.

Imagine... this 73-year-old isolated woman, praying for food to help others while she had so little for herself. This story is what inspired Dr. Bruce and Teri Sue to not give up on this mission and use the free time that COVID-19 had bestowed upon them to focus on the good in life and to never quit serving their community! 

There are so many more stories of gratitude they have received from so many seniors, and families who have lost their jobs due to the economic effects of COVID-19. Serving these grateful people has totally fueled their hearts. The simple fact that so many people have been so incredibly challenged, made the decision to make Good Samaritan Community Food Pantry a permanent community service foundation a very easy one. Now the work that is so needed and so rewarding may continue indefinitely!

Our community has been awesome with many people donating food, freezers, time, and money. The Parkers and the Good Samaritan Community Food Pantry, LLC are reaching out asking for additional help as they are getting daily requests to help so many more families and neighbors in need. Only with the support of the community, can they continue to serve the valley as far as the resources will reach.

In special mention, Lisa Schrauth a new neighbor from Ohio came to admire Teri Sue's kindness and truly embraced the mission of the food pantry. She had heard about their work and without hesitation began weekly donations of food, helped raise funds, and is currently working on donations from several large corporations to become permanent sponsors of the food pantry. The generosity of Lisa and others like her truly represents the love and community spirit behind the Good Samaritans Community Food Pantry!

All supporters as well as Teri Sue and Dr. Bruce are currently using private funds to support the foundation.  All money raised will be used directly for this program.  Anything you can do to help would be deeply appreciated.   

Thank you for your love and support!

Dr. Bruce and Teri Sue Parker

Donations (59)

  • Christian Dahlin
    • $500 
    • 1 d
  • Donna Harkey
    • $100 
    • 12 d
  • Wildomar Community and Parks Foundation
    • $100 
    • 13 d
  • Gloria Tumbaga
    • $100 
    • 13 d
  • Al Rubio
    • $100 
    • 14 d

Fundraising team (4)

Dr Bruce
Temecula, CA
Bruce Parker
Teri Sue Parker
Team member
Raised $1,305 from 18 donations
Lisa Schrauth
Team member
Raised $700 from 2 donations
This team raised $6,315 from 39 other donations.

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