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‘Like Receiving a Third Michelin Star’

Meher Schools Mom Represents White Pony Express at Prestigious Event Honoring Top Nonprofits

Charity Navigator’s Laura Andres, left, and WPE’s Gwen Hamilton (center) and Eve Birge, in a screenshot from the broadcast

On December 1, Charity Navigator marked its twentieth anniversary by honoring three of its highest-rated nonprofit agencies – one international, one national, and one local. Honored at the local level was the White Pony Express food rescue program. Representing WPE at the event was Meher Schools fourth grade mom Eve Birge, the organization’s executive director.

Pleasant Hill–based White Pony Express was one of a handful of organizations out of the 200,000 Charity Navigator rates to receive a perfect score in all four dimensions it evaluates: impact and results, accountability and finance, culture and community, and leadership and adaptability. One supporter likened this honor to a restaurant receiving a coveted three-star Michelin rating as best in its


Since its founding in 2013 by Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, WPE has rescued and distributed to organizations throughout the county more than 20 million pounds of food – the equivalent of 17 million meals.

The Meher Schools has partnered with WPE on numerous occasions over the years. Families have donated generously to WPE campaigns, and parents, staff, and alumni have answered the call for volunteers. Most recently, our school community purchased food, clothing, and medicines and raised more than $4,000 for Ukrainian relief last spring.

In an event that was televised nationally, Eve was interviewed before an audience of philanthropists, funding officers, and community leaders by Charity Navigator’s chief program officer, Laura Andres. Joining them via Zoom for part of the interview was WPE volunteer Gwen Hamilton, a retired pediatrician, who will become chair of the organization’s board of directors in the spring. Gwen is also a member of the Meher Schools governing board.

Eve told the audience, “We have a model that can help end hunger, and we want to share that model freely.” WPE’s food-rescue model was one of the approaches selected by the United Nations in its quest to find new solutions to global hunger. Recently the consuls general of Mexico and Chile visited WPE headquarters, and the consuls general of Peru, Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala have expressed interest in visiting. WPE last year consulted on a project to develop a volunteer-run food distribution network in Monterrey, Mexico.

WPE always welcome donations and volunteers. Click here to learn more.


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