Nonprofit News

Galilee Center Receives Grant to Help Impoverished Residents with Basic Needs

H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Presents $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight Grant

Photo: Patrick Evans, CBS Local 2 anchor, with Christopher McGuire and Catharine Reed, Board Members of the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, present a $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant to representatives of the Galilee Center: Board Members Hal Tilbury, Bill Glowka and Jennifer Loretta, accompanied by Co-founders Claudia Castorena and Gloria Gomez.

More than 12,000 low-income families are receiving emergency provision assistance, thanks in part to a $25,000 grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. The Coachella Valley Spotlight grant was presented to the Galilee Center, which distributes basic needs to some of the area’s most impoverished residents; most live in eastern Coachella Valley.

“Providing basic necessities to farm workers and their families help them live their lives with dignity,” said Claudia Castorena, Co-founder of the Galilee Center. “One of our goals by assisting the working poor in our area is to break the cycle of poverty.”

Castorena and Gloria Gómez co-founded the Galilee Center in 2010. Since then, through the generosity of private donations, grants, fundraising and government support, the nonprofit organization provides food baskets, baby formula, senior citizen needs, school supplies, clothing as well as rent and utility assistance to members of the valley’s working poor.

“It’s important to us that we provide these basic needs and services with love, compassion and respect, which every human being deserves,” said Gómez.

The Galilee Center relies on nearly 200 volunteers and a small staff who assist with this aid throughout the year. Each Thursday, Galilee Center packages and distributes food from its location at 66-101 Hammond Road, Mecca. The Galilee Center provides about 12,000 food baskets to approximately 40,000 people, representing more than 11,000 families annually. Forty-nine percent of the people receiving food are children. The location also has a resale clothing shop and a shelter for farm workers, which includes the availability of restrooms, showers, a laundry facility and a hot meal for about 140 men and women working in area farms who have no other access to housing.

“If not for the work of the Galilee Center many of these people, who contribute greatly to our community’s agricultural industry, would be overlooked for basic needs,” said Christopher McGuire, Vice President of Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

“The Galilee Center picks up were other agencies leave off,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates CBS Local 2.

The Galilee Center was featured on CBS Local 2’s “Eye on the Desert” as well as in public service announcements and on the website throughout the month of July. For more information about the nonprofit organization or how to help Galilee Center, visit or call 760-396-9100.

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About CBS Local 2

As the local CBS affiliate, Local 2 is the Valley’s very own local news and entertainment source, committed to providing the community with the connectivity that it benefits from the most. As part of its ongoing commitment to the community, CBS Local 2 is proud to partner with The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation to present Coachella Valley Spotlight, which supports local charities.

 About the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation

The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation is a private foundation that generously supports educational and other charitable projects. Since 1988, the Berger Foundation is responsible for granting more than $800 million to charities throughout Southern California and the United States.

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