White Pony Express

  • Health
  • Inequality
  • Women and families

Creating a link between those with surplus and those in need CA

Website: White Pony Express, Free General Store

Classmate sponsor: Emily Fields Karakashian

About White Pony Express

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Founded in September 2013, White Pony Express collects as much as 3500 lbs of food a day from more than 100 donors, including Whole Foods, Costco, Safeway, Walgreens and Walmart and distributes it to 55,000 people through 44 nonprofit partners in northern California's Contra Costa County. The food distributed -- over million pounds and counting -- would otherwise have gone to waste!

"Our direct distribution model allows us to quickly collect and deliver large amounts of what our community needs most: fresh produce, diary, meat, deli items and sandwiches and healthy choices for children," and the recipients include homeless shelters, recovery centers, community youth centers, day-labor centers and cooking classes for low-income students.

It didn't take long for the volunteers and directors to recognize that helping people out of homelessness and poverty calls for more than food, so additional initiatives were born: the Free General Store, which distributes new and gently used clothing, toys and books via mobile boutique events at churches and community centers--complete with personal shoppers to help find clothes for special events such as parent-teacher conferences and job interviews. There are also direct giving programs for shelters and Veterans programs and support for programs such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children) for community events.

Finally, the White Pony Inn links physicians, social workers and other professionals to counsel those on the edge of homelessness to make sure they have applied for all available benefits and have support for their mental and physical health.

  • Contacts at the corporate level with large retailers who can donate surplus clothing, books and toys
  • Contacts at foundations to facilitate fundraising to cover operating and capital expenses such as trucks, both regular and refrigerated
  • Volunteers! White Pony is a 100% volunteer organization

Questions? contact classmate sponsor Emily Fields Karakashian