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Citrus Heights food closet welcomes home-grown donations

Cars line up for a “drive-thru” food drive in Citrus Heights outside Advent Lutheran Church on March 28. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
If you’ve got some extra oranges growing on your trees, the Sunrise Christian Food Ministry says it could use it — along with other canned or packaged food donations.

The local food closet, which operates out of a building behind Advent Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, has been faced with increased demand from those seeking emergency food supplies during coronavirus mitigation efforts that have led to lay-offs and non-essential employees staying at home without work.

Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 5901 San Juan Ave., according to Dustin DeVriend, associate pastor of Christ Community Church in Carmichael, whose church partners with the food closet. He said healthy volunteers are also being sought.

DeVriend said Friday that about 30 percent of the people coming to the food closet for supplies are “first-timers, mostly people who have been laid off.”

On March 28, the food closet hosted its first-ever “drive-thru” food drive, which infused its supplies with about a week-and-a-half of food. However, DeVriend said the ministry is still facing difficulties getting pallets of canned goods from grocers and the Sacramento Food Bank, which are low on stock.

According to the organization’s website, Sunrise Christian Food Ministry was founded in 1983 as an ecumenical effort supported by several dozen churches, organizations and individuals. The ministry’s mission is “to provide five days of nutritionally balanced food supplies to each person every 30 days when an emergency occurs.”

The food closet’s posted hours are 11:30 a.m to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Rocky Peterson, director of the local food closet, said food is made available to those in need anywhere in Sacramento County. He said recipients are asked for a picture ID and a current piece of mail for demographic purposes.

The food closet is located at 5901 San Juan Ave. Additional information can be found at

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