The Almost Monthly Epic-Cure Newsletter June 2022
Open Invitation – if you volunteer in St. Augustine, we’d love to have you join us in
Palatka, and if you volunteer in Palatka, we’d love to have you join us in St.
Our friends at Flagler Care Connect could really use some volunteer drivers to do
home deliveries of food. If you are interested in helping once a week, please
contact them at 904-819-3070.
The Board of Directors of Epic-Cure Inc. takes great pleasure – and even more pride – in
announcing the admission of Monica Ortiz-Sanchez as our newest member of the Board of
Please join us in welcoming Monica to this important role, one for which she is uniquely
qualified. And, when you see her, please do not be bashful about congratulating her!
The vote in favor of her joining the Board was unanimous.
Monica’s demonstrated dedication to the Epic-Cure cause and her expertise in dealing with
complex systems with the added wildcard of human interactions in stressful circumstances
made our decision easy, indeed. Daily, she masterfully embodies the ethos of Epic-Cure, dealing
everywhere and always with patrons and volunteers with generosity of spirit, gentle kindness,
unfailing grace, and the deepest respect for preserving and raising the dignity of all with whom
she comes into contact. This is the most important thing.
If this description makes her seem like a pushover, well think again. We mentioned that she is
expert in managing complex systems and can prove it. Monica previously worked for the New
York City Department of Education where she became the Principal of one of the most violent
schools in the Bronx. She was tasked with turning it around and then phasing it out. She did
turn it around, working with a population of 4,000 students, 200+ teachers, a cabinet of 10, and
supporting staff of over 20. In two years, she turned a failing school into a performing school.
Monica oversaw the eventual phasing out, and, all the while, she lived an unwavering belief in
students’ ability to succeed provided they are given the opportunities and resources to do so.
We look forward to all the good she most assuredly will do while serving the good people in the
Epic-Cure family. Welcome to the Board, Monica!
Looks like our step-up transformer for the Palatka freezers is schedule to arrive by 6/10. Using grant money from No Kids Hungry, we have purchased a used industrial generator for the Palatka
warehouse. We are seeking a second used generator to serve as a backup. We thank Marty Tobin for installing a new plastic curtain in our Palatka walk in refrigerator. We are looking forward to
saving money on electricity. Great job and thanks so much, Marty. Here’s something to make you happy: On Friday 5/27 (Memorial Day Weekend), it was the 2nd time the Ryder mechanics worked late into the night to get our truck back on the road. They had the parts sent by FedEx, which arrived Friday morning. They completed the repairs at 10:00 pm Friday night.
With our little fleet of 2 trucks, we compete for their attention with accounts that operate
significant fleets. We also compete with Ryder’s own fleet of trucks, trucks that generate
revenue for them. We are very fortunate that they always treat us as a priority because they
know what we do.
Here is our PIPS (Pounds In & People Served) graph:
Notes on the graph:
The Importance of Refrigerated Trucks with Lift Gates and Volunteer Drivers…
You can’t wait for food to come to you. You’ve got to be proactive in sourcing and be willing to
go get it!!!
Now that we have been sending our leased Ryder truck to do the pickups regularly from Waste
Not Florida, you can see the difference our making it easier for their volunteers who pack the
food has resulted in. Rather than packing bakery products in grocery bags, we can now take
rolling towers of bread.
Grand Total 28,239
To optimize the trips, fuel costs, and access more food, we’ve been doing more multi stop pickups when we go to Jacksonville 2 to 3 times a week. Stops include Farm Share, Waste Not and Feeding Northeast Florida. If we did not have the refrigerated truck and willing drivers, we would
have had 120,000+ pounds less of food in Putnam County in the last 3 months and that is just from those 3 sources. Layer in Southeastern Food Bank and farms and it would be significantly higher.
Speaking of finally making connections to rejected pallets from truckers, we got a call from
George at the Family Worship Center on 5/24. Pie in the Sky received a call that Walmart had
rejected 6 pallets of sweet potatoes. Problem was that the semi-truck didn’t have a lift gate.
Well, we did and used it as a ramp for the pallets to be offloaded from the semi onto our truck.
We were able to then lower the pallets to the ground and share with both agencies. As a result,
all our patrons enjoyed the bounty of perfectly good sweet potatoes that week.
As always, we work non-stop to find new food sources. They are out there. With annual food
waste in 2019 estimated at 108 billion pounds (source: ReFED) and Feeding America reporting
that they and their national partner agency networks rescuing only 4.7 billion pounds, 4% of 108
billion, in 2021, we have a long way to go. That 4.7 billion was up from 4 billion in 2020 and 3.6 billion in 2019.
Notes from Wendy Lantz on the 5/21 Hope 4 Veterans cooking class:
We have the privilege to meet with Hope 4 Veterans on Saturday. These beautiful women have
either served in our arm forces or they are married to a veteran. Together we prepared two
delicious, healthy dishes and shared a meal together.
I would just like to remind everyone the importance of sitting down and sharing a healthy meal
with those that you love. On my recent trip to Ukraine, it is part of the culture that every time
you meet someone new that you sit down and share chai (tea) or a meal together. They are
very present oriented culture. This was painful for me because I’m type A personality and future
oriented! I learned so much about the Ukrainian people, and their struggles- which are
unimaginable! I developed friendships that will last a lifetime. This was a valuable lesson for
me, and I am working on doing better in my own home. Sunday night family dinners are
officially back in session!
Sharing this meal with them, not only do these women have a heart to serve and mentor each
other, they are looking for additional ways to serve their own community. They were interested
in supporting our efforts to end food waste, end food insecurity, and mentor at risk youth
through our Sustain U cooking classes. What an encouragement to see these beautiful, strong
women serve each other and their communities. Thank you for sharing a meal with us! Most of
all, thank you for your service to our country!
Our Epic Volunteers:
To hear about ongoing volunteer opportunities, please join our Facebook Volunteer Group.
Charity Roberts, our volunteer coordinator, posts details about our needs every week. You can
reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
We are proud of our volunteers. To a person, they share the Epic-Cure ethos: no matter what
the job, they get it done right and with good grace in their hearts and deeds. Not all the jobs are
easy. None of them are glamorous. But every job matters to those we serve. We love our
volunteers. They make this thing happen!
We’ll share pictures next month of cooking classes that began at The ARC of St. Johns on 5/31
thanks to Lisa Chismark (see volunteer spotlight) and Candy Johnson. We are very pleased that
our new students are also new volunteers at the warehouse packing dry goods for home
By Janet McNabb
Where can we find Mike and Lisa Chismark when they’re not helping at Epic-Cure? Well, we’d have to check the beach to look for Mike who might be running, surfing, or riding his bike. For Lisa, check the kitchen. She’s probably baking. However, they are frequently busy at Epic-Cure. Mike helps by driving the Epic-Cure truck or his own vehicle to pick up on Tuesday morning at Winn-Dixie or every other Monday at the KeHE to deliver to the warehouse. He occasionally makes the run to Palatka or anywhere Sunny needs him to go. Every fourth Friday finds him at the Armstrong First Baptist Church at the community distribution.
Quite a change from his Navy or FedEx flying days. Mike and Lisa join forces every Tuesday teaching junior high kids cook skills in the Epic-Cure SUSTAIN U program. From 4-6:00 pm selected recipes are prepared, the group enjoys eating it together, and then the kids make the same meal and take it home for their family to enjoy. This continues every Tuesday at Woodlawn with the same kids for 8 weeks. A new group will start in June. The cost is ridiculously low
because the recipe ingredients are supplied by the warehouse stock. Lots of meals for little money.
Sometimes at zero cost!
Besides the Woodlawn program, SUSTAIN U is also being taught at the Boys and Girls Club. More promising young people who just might join the culinary industry one day, besides developing a sense of self-esteem in the ability to feed their families. Lisa has her doctorate in genetics and is a nursing professor with a special interest in Sickle Cell disease. Her expertise comes in handy with the residents at Woodlawn, where several residents suffer from this
devastating disease. She does patient education, and she and Mike have helped some of the residents connect to other community services. We discussed how difficult it is to navigate the system. So frequently when applying for services the path is to “apply online”. Easier said than done.
We all agreed that Sunny and Charity have a certain way of asking people to do things that makes it impossible not to say “Sure! I can do that!”. And that is the frequent response from Mike and Lisa. Thank you, for being part of the Epic-Cure team!
Amazon Smile and Epic-Cure: If you are an Amazon shopper and do not have a charity you are
supporting with your purchases, please consider choosing Epic-Cure and login to Smile.Amazon.com when shopping. One percent (1%) of all purchases goes to support the charity you choose.
Date Account Am ount
08/16/2021 Amazon Smiles 13.21
11/22/2021 Amazon Smiles 25.39
05/31/2022 Amazon Smiles 76.30
• This is large and bold for a reason… An easy, impactful way that you can help us is to please … You will help reduce waste by allowing us to re-use them. You will be saving us money by reducing the number we have to purchase. FYI – we have not had to buy plastic bags in over a year thanks to you all.Before, we were spending about $150 a month on bags. Great job everyone!
Anyone who wishes to see Epic-Cure’s financial statements need only ask.
• Please email your requests to Sunny Mulford: email@example.com
Please watch the documentary
“Wasted: The Story of Food Waste.”
You can watch it on Amazon or Netflix.
Or you can "check out" a DVD at our warehouse.