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Redwood Empire Food Bank

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Food Programs

Mission: The mission of the Redwood Empire Food Bank is to end hunger in our community. We define ending hunger as having in place a community response system that makes adequate nutrition assistance available and accessible to anyone in need of help. The REFB’s most startling and ultimately significant finding from our study, Hunger in Sonoma County / 2010, is the incredibly low, median monthly income reported by food recipients of $930 a month. This is less than a fifth of the median household income of $5,189 a month for all Sonoma County residents established by the Census Bureau in 2007. If you consider that $1,213 was the median rent for an apartment in Sonoma County in 2011, you can understand why there is little if any money left for food or necessities. According to the recent United States Census Report, 13.1 percent – slightly more than 1 in 8 of Sonoma County residents were living at or below the poverty line in 2010. This is a marked increase from the 8.9 percent in 2007 before the economy collapsed. Living in poverty means that emergency food recipients have numerous financial struggles to deal with, day in and day out. Of the 78,000 people the REFB provides food for each month: 34,000 of food recipients are children, 11,300 are seniors, and 13,500 are working families. For more information visit, www.refb.org.

Results: The REFB distributes over 13 million pounds of food annually, half of which is fresh fruit and vegetables.

Programs: In an effort to effectively reach people struggling with food insecurity in Sonoma County, the Redwood Empire Food Bank operates three strategic hunger initiatives - Every Child, Every Day, Senior Security, and Neighborhood Hunger Network.

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Giving Tuesday was a wonderful opportunity to renew and recommit to my personal mission of 'giving to support the change I believe in' by donating to a variety of important causes, including one which touches me in a very personal way'hunger relief. When I was young, my family relied on food assistance for a brief period of time (explaining my enduing love for large blocks of orange cheese). I still have a vivid recall of the effect it had on me as someone in need, leading to my belief of 'nutrition with dignity.' Living with need affects people to their core, and, so can the way in which assistance is provided. We can help people overcome the indignity of need when we help them well. This is one of the reasons I choose to support the redwood Empire Food Bank Kitchen Collective as a donor of both time and funds. With a mission to 'transform donated ingredients into complex, nutritious, seasonal entrees' for those in need, I believe it is an innovative way to provide nourishing meals while conserving and extending the shelf life of high-quality donated food ingredients. Nutrition with dignity. Creating well-balanced meals using perishable donated ingredients adds capacity to food programs that feed peopleliving with food insecurity, in essence leveraging in-kind donations of food by making them meals. (Plus, I am awesome at doing dishes')

Review from #MyGivingStory



Rating: 5

There very helpful, it helps many people in need. It helps people far and wide.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work with many people every day providing information and referral. I tell at least half of them about the Redwood Empire Food Bank. The REFB is the warehouse for all the food distribution efforts in Sonoma County. They are an extraordinary valuable asset. Gerry La Londe-Berg



Rating: 5

I am amazed at the efficient and tremendous volume of work that happens at the REFB. As a volunteer working solo or with employer-sponsored events, the staff creates an environment that gets the most out of volunteers while making us feel valued, and leaves us with a great feeling of accomplishment, Very flexible , so that I can do a little or a lot. It is spotless, organized, cheerful and friendly. All the tools are there to help work go smoothly. Try it, it feels great!



Rating: 5

I really enjoy volunteering at the food bank. I assist in packing boxes of food for elderly people. The teams I work with are enthusiastic. I have also called people to remind them about picking up their boxes. The recipients are so appreciative. I am glad to help in the REFB's effort of feeding 78,000 a month.