LEFT: Pictured at a Feb. 13 ceremony from left to right are Maria Bhanukitsiri, manager of the Community Food Pantry of Murrieta; Andrew Masiel Sr., a Pechanga board officer; Father Carlos Martinez, the pantry’s executive director and administrator of St. Martha, Murrieta; Ken Perez, president of the Pechanga Development Corporation; and Michael Murphy, a Pechanga board officer. RIGHT: Bhanukitsiri and Fr. Martinez stand in front of the newly donated truck.
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians have donated a new refrigerated food truck to the St. Martha Community Food Pantry in Murrieta. The pantry is considered a ministry of the parish, although it has a separate Board of Directors and funding than the parish (it is funded by a community thrift store and by donations).
“The gift of this truck means everything to us at the Murrieta Pantry, and to everyone who relies on us,” Maria Bhanukitsiri, manager of the pantry, said in a press release. “Without this truck, we would have very little to offer our clients and the pantry may cease to exist.”
The new truck is worth $157,000 and replaces a previously donated truck, also from the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, which was over 10 years old and in need of replacement.