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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.

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

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

Board Member

Rating: 5

An essence of life is healthy food! The SLO County Food Bank provides such a commodity to the most vulnerable members of our community. A dollar donation is converted to over $ 10 dollars in healthy and nutritious food that helps alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County.

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Paula and I am a Volunteer at the Food Bank. I work at the front desk, so there is filing, phone answering and just in general meet and greeting of other volunteers and employees. I work directly with Malinda...what a joy this gal is! The knowledge and compassion that she has of this organization is amazing, such a delight. Also working along side Caroline,our Community Outreach/Volunteer Coordinator, watching and listening to her interact with the other volunteers face to face or setting up programs on the phone is truly a young women who enjoys what she does and smiles all the way thru it! This non-profit is more than I ever thought, this is a all round 'Community Gathering' of helping and being there for all people in San Luis Obispo County...BRAVO to this organization!

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.

Wendy174

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am proud to say I have been working at the Food Bank for over 9 years. It's an amazing organization with the most incredible team and volunteers. No one should go hungry and the SLO County Food Bank is working tirelessly to make sure everyone has access to nutritious food!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for the Food Bank Coalition for over a year and a half. I am so thankful to have a job that everyday is working to benefit children, seniors, families, and individuals, that are food insecure in our community. This is done by an incredible staff that make coming to work each day a joy, thousands of dedicated volunteers, and supportive community partners who believe in our organization's mission. Being able to say that you truly love what you do each day is something that I am so fortunate to be able to feel each and everyday. Our organization is a true non-profit, doing good honest work for others in need.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the honor to work with and for the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County.
My husband and I first began working with the Food Bank when we planted a few extra rows of produce indenting to donate the extra crop to the Food Bank. We loved knowing our produce was going to residents in our county who had a hard time putting food on the table. The Food Bank invited us to participate and witness a Children's Farmers Market, allowing us to see directly where the produce was going.

I have worked for the Food Bank for a little less than a year now and I am continuously impressed at the heart and soul this company has.
Every employee has the same committed to feeding our community, it is a wonderful and inspiring workplace.

1 Malinda3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of working at the Food Bank for over 5 years now. From start to finish, even after all this time, I am amazed at the process of getting food in and out of our warehouse and to families that are in need.

2 Melissa352

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am very proud to be part of such a wonderful cause. It is extremely rewarding to see the direct impact we have on those we serve. Also, it's great to see that nutrition is the top priority.