Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services Partners to Feed More Than 135,000 Sacramentans Monthly
July 2018 - In an effort to address the needs of the food insecure in Sacramento County, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) partners with over 220 food pantries throughout the county. Through food distributions and congregate meals made possible by this network of Partner Agencies, 135,000 food insecure individuals receive nourishment each month. In addition to food resources, SFBFS supports these agencies by helping them build capacity to best reach those in need through education, training and creating opportunities for agencies to partner with local resources, such as Grocers Feed the Hungry. Additionally, with the goal of closing the feeding gap of 110,000 more individuals currently not being reached and addressing food access challenges on the community level, SFBFS created Neighborhood Food Access Networks (NFANs). NFANs meet every month to work through goals and projects that are aimed at maximizing collaboration among the food pantries to improve community impact. Goals include: establishing standardized best practices, synchronizing food distribution schedules to meet community needs and developing a comprehensive outreach strategy.
As part of the goal to close the hunger gap in Sacramento County by making food easily accessible to those in need, SFBFS also aims to make the food nutritious by providing more free, fresh fruits and vegetables. Through our Produce for All distributions, SFBFS brings delicious produce to communities throughout Sacramento County with distributions at health clinics, schools, churches and other community centers. SFBFS also partners with local grocery stores to create a direct relationship between 220 Partner Agencies and generous grocery donors so that more food can be picked up more often, on a more consistent basis, reaching more people in less time. In 2017, SFBFS distributed over 7.5 million pounds of produce through Produce for All distributions and through the Partner Agency Network. Through Health & Nutrition classes, community members can also learn how to prepare healthy meals with the produce and food they receive as well as grow their own garden. SFBFS’ goal is to assist those in need by alleviating their immediate pain and problems while also moving them toward self-sufficiency.
Clients will often find out about SFBFS through partners such as the Sacramento Promise Zone and will inquire about specific needs such as clothing, food and education and then sign up for some of the 14 programs and services that SFBFS offers. Gina, for example, reached out to SFBFS because she needed clothes for herself and her daughters. Gina also took advantage of other great services offered by SFBFS such as the Produce for All distributions and Adult Education. She says the food distributions nourished her, the Clothing program clothed her and the Adult Education program gave her the skills she needed to succeed. With a smile on her face, Gina says, “"It has always been a great resource for our community from its beginning to now and hopefully for years to come.” Gina says that her experiences with staff, volunteers and others in the programs helped her in raising her own daughters to give love and help others from a very early age. “It trickled down to my children like a domino effect.” One daughter is a police officer and the other a social worker who works with neglected children and Gina is excitedly expecting her first grandchild.
To learn more about Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services please visit https://www.sacramentofoodbank.org/