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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Nutrition

Mission: The mission of the Food Bank Coalition is to work with a network of community partners to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County and build a healthier community.

Results: We are distributing relief food to over 30,000 individuals a month. This is done at our 80 monthly distributions, our Children's Farmers Markets, our Senior Farmers Markets, our Harvest Bags, Summer Breakfast Bags and through our 90+ non profit agency partners. Our GleanSLO program has rescued 89,747 lbs of fresh produce in the first half of 2019. They did this with 216 volunteers donating over 1,000 hours of time. These numbers will increase drastically during the summer months. GleanSLO rescued 231,200 lbs of produce in 2018.

Target demographics: We alleviate hunger for the 46,000 residents who are food insecure in San Luis Obispo County.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We distribute approximately 5 million pounds of free and/or low-cost food to individuals and households directly and through redistributing agencies.

Geographic areas served: San Luis Obispo County

Programs: BREAKFAST BAGS Breakfast Bags help close the summer hunger gap for children whose families rely on access to free meals during the school year. Each bag provides multiple weeks’ worth of nutritious breakfast food and also includes bilingual nutritional handouts, recipes, cooking recommendations, fun activities, and healthy eating practices (summer only program). NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DISTRIBUTIONS Neighborhood Food Distributions are free to income eligible participants, are open to the public, and are located in every community in San Luis Obispo County. With the help of many committed volunteers and community partners, we operate 85 distributions per month at 60 locations. At these sites, participants received a bag of pantry food and fresh produce, an average of 35lbs of food per household. For more details about these sites, check out our Calendar & Resource List on our website: www.slofoodbank.org SENIOR FARMERS MARKETS Senior Farmers Markets connect low-income seniors living in community housing complexes with fresh produce right where they live. Fresh fruits and vegetables are delivered each month to a common area on site that is easily accessible to residents. Participants are welcome to take what they need for free, adding nutritious food to their diet as well as offsetting food costs in their budget. CHILDREN’S FARMERS MARKET Children’s Farmers Markets improve the nutrition of low-income children and families by combining excitement around good food, nutrition education, community building, and volunteerism. At a CFM, tables are piled high with different types of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Each child receives a bag to fill and “purchases” the produce with play money. Children go home with up to 15 pounds of fresh produce, which has been gleaned free of charge from local farms, orchards, and yards or purchased through the California food bank network. NUTRITION EDUCATION Nutrition Education is an integral part of we do. We have developed a progressive nutrition policy, which governs the type and quality of food we distribute in our community. We offer education and training to our partners, and also train community volunteers to provide behavior-focused, evidence-based nutrition education for participants at Neighborhood Food Distributions, Children’s Farmers Markets, and Senior Farmers Markets sites throughout the county. In an effort to make healthy food accessible to those who need it most in our community, each year we strive to make 50% of the food we distribute fresh fruits and vegetables. CALFRESH CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps) is a federally-funded nutrition assistance program that allows participants to buy food using an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card at grocery stores, neighborhood stores, and farmers markets. CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and allow participants to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, beans, whole grains, and dairy products into their diets. Through our outreach at sites countywide, we provide information and assistance to individuals interested in signing up for CalFresh benefits. GLEANSLO GleanSLO is a volunteer-driven program which rescues produce from local growers that would otherwise go to waste and makes it available to those in need. Once harvested, the high quality, locally grown produce is distributed through our Neighborhood Food Distribution and Farmers Market Programs. Since 2010, GleanSLO has rescued over 1 million pounds of produce in San Luis Obispo County. GROCERY RESCUE To avoid wasting food, Feeding America and its network of food banks and participating grocery stores across the country work to recover edible food removed from grocery store shelves and put it into the hands of families and individuals who are in need, redirecting billions of pounds of safe food nationwide each year. We participate in this effort by rescuing product from an average of fifteen local grocery stores each week. The rescued food is brought back to our warehouse, sorted, and is then sent out to Neighborhood Distribution sites and is also made available to our partner agencies.

Community Stories

29 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everyone was really nice and very helpful when we had questions! I'm excited to work here again :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Everything is well.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

They are very nice to the volunteers and clear with what they want us to do. They are helping the slo community out a lot!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great customer service. Had an awesome time helping out, the employees were so nice. The process went very smoothly. And it was an overall great experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

the food bank is extremely helpful and the staff on site is very warm and welcoming and helps with all of your questions and needs. the instructions are clear and i couldn't ask for more

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The nonprofit does a great job of having friendly employees and are great at encouraging us to volunteer! The work is easy and fun in this environment.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They can improve by being the best that they can be this is a good nonprofit organization

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A professional organization that helps 30,000 people a month have healthy food- Half is fresh produce donated from local farmers! Everyone should have access to food.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is amazing to see how many charitable people in our community support the food bank either through volunteer hours or monetary donations. The Food Bank Coalition of SLO County brings healthy food to people in every corner of the county. They even go to CA Valley which is a food desert- no grocery stores. This food is an important safety net for people who are making low wages and paying high rents.

Dlmajor

Board Member

Rating: 5

The whole FOOD BANK concept is a winner for the community...a place to secure and store food for all the local non profits and churchs to distribute. OUR local FOOD BANK is a modal for unity, fairness and inovation in ENDING HUNGER.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and board member for almost 20 years I am always amazed at the efficient model of Food Banks...to collect and store food, to be a "supermarket" for local non profits who reach out to end local food insecurity. You should be assured that our local SLO Food Bank, now in its new warehouse, is one of the best rule organization I know of. You can trust that your donation will be used and leveraged to meet our mission to end local hunger. Come and see! Your welcome to come and carefully evaluate our programs as you decide where to volunteer or donate locally.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They make their volunteers feel valued and welcome. They have lots of work for us and are always open to ideas. Great folks doing important work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They work efficiently and with smiles. They have great organization and ensure that everyone is well fed.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Absolutely committed to their mission and to the betterment of the community. Great supportive partner.

Donor

Rating: 5

They are serving large numbers at low cost. More public information about some of their lesser known activities.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board Member of this charity for 3 1/2 years. Our new warehouse allows us to feed the hungry throughout the entire county of San Luis Obispo. We support over 90 agencies, such as food pantries, as well as doing direct food distribution from our fleet of trucks.

We provide this food for children and seniors and those in between. Some of these people are working poor that are employed but still cannot afford housing and healthy food. We make a difference to these people as we provide healthy food including fresh fruit and vegetables.

I am proud to support the Food Bank with my own donations. It is a fine organization and well worth your donations.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a donor and volunteer with 2 other Food Banks, one in San Jose, California and another in St George, Utah. As a volunteer, donor and board member of the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County I am amazed at the breath and depth of its programs for children to seniors and geographically from San Miguel to Nipomo.

The Food Bank provides food to about 120 non profit agencies in the county in addition to direct distribution to children and seniors as well as direct distributions to areas of the county that are not covered by non profit agencies.

After significant growth under the direction of Carl Hansen for 11 years, Carl has retired and a new CEO has been hired. Kevin Drabinski will build on past success and lead the Food Bank into its exciting future.

I highly recommend the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County and suggest that your donor dollars will make an impact on the lives of the needy of San Luis Obispo County.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Slo food bank does an amazing job of providing clients with fresh produce. I have volunteered for several years with GleanSlo which harvests backyard and farm produce for local families. They are incredibly organized and have a diverse base of volunteers including kids, high school and college students, stay at home parents and retirees.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Food Bank coalition does a fantastic job of providing food to underserved families in our community. In addition, they provide edu pride to both recipients and volunteers. Best of all, they keep their organization costs minimal so money goes where it is needed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with the SLO Food Bank is fantastic. They are so well organized that you know the time you are volunteering is making a meaningful impact. They are super with both adult aychild volunteers. I highly recommend this wonderful organization!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The fact that 30,000 people receive supplemental food each month motivates me to give. The fact that over half is fresh produce keeps me giving. Excellent staff and mission.

Board Member

Rating: 5

What a great organization and a great cause! I recently took a tour of the new San Luis Obispo food distribution facility and offices. Everyone in San Luis Obispo county should be proud of such a first rate facility and staff. What better cause than to feed the hungry in our community. I would advocate for anyone wanting to make a difference in our community to contact the Food Bank. Joe Simonin