Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Gina Lynell 

Two Men and Our Town


Last updated 7/16/2020 at 10:30am

Jim Wermers and Thomas Fredericks

Every Thursday at 4 p.m. in a retail space next to the Bike Shop in "The Mall," Thomas Fredericks' and Jim Wermers' food distribution project provides food for about 150 families, which is about 450 people at current count.

Thomas Fredericks of Fredricks Services and Jim Wermers, who owns "The Mall," and "The Center," thoughtfully decided to help approximately 24 to 30 local residents as a one- time gift of food in early May of this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With inspiration from his son Jacob, 47 who now manages the Fredericks Services family business, the duo put their heads together and decided to continue their food distribution project on a regular basis.

They found a windfall of local residents and others who joined them to help. They are grateful for all the help they have received to keep the project going, and were surprised by the increasing numbers of locals in need of meals for their families. Employees of both Fredericks and Wermers, plus other volunteers come to the space at The Mall on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at the time that is most convenient for them in an effort to be conscientious about not crowding too many people in one space.

Ellen Fitzpatrick of Graphics You Can Trust has a key to let volunteers in to help breakdown large wholesale packages of potatoes, onions, rice and beans. The volunteers also breakdown large flats of eggs into smaller sizes dozens to distribute equally per person. The word spread fast and people from all over have donated money as well as food and empty boxes coming from local stores for per person distribution.

Jim and Anne Wermers shop on the weekends in La Mesa, and Jake Fredericks shops in Temecula at the beginning of the week. They compare notes for the best prices, to provide the most food available. Anne Wermers keeps the books for the project.

Fredericks' and Wermers' weekly food distribution project intentionally includes fresh fruits and vegetables like onions and Roma tomatoes, but also freshly made tortillas from San Diego and Temecula.

The boxes also include flour and Maseca which is a corn flour used for making tamales. With the borrowed freezers in the space at The Mall, the donations of meat is always a welcomed gift in the food boxes distributed by their project.

Procceeds can be donated to Jim Wermers at P.O. Box 2585, or to Thomas Fredericks at Fredericks Services at the Circle.

If you'd like a receipt for tax purposes, either send your check to SIBorregoSprings (the Soroptimists International of Borrego Springs Chapter) at P.O. Box 504, or the Borrego Ministers Association at P.O. Box 2183.

Note: "Feeding Borrego" on the memo, They have 501(c)(3) status. They will send us the funds and send you the receipt for a tax deduction.

"Individually we can each do our part; together we are making a difference," Anne Wermers said.

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