Known as an essential component in our community’s hunger relief network, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) currently provides food and education for 157,000 men, women and children per month. While Feeding America reports that the number of food insecure individuals in Sacramento County continues to decrease year over year for the past three years (it is working!), SFBFS staff, volunteers and supporters can take action outside of food distribution to make an impact on local hunger.
In addition to providing food and education, SFBFS believes strongly in advocating for those without a voice. On Tuesday, December 18, media and representatives from the offices of Senator, Dr. Richard Pan, Congressman Ami Bera and California Health & Human Services Agency joined SFBFS President/CEO, Blake Young and California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) representatives at the Hunger and the Holidays gathering to learn how state issues, along with federal concerns like CalFresh and the Farm Bill, impact Sacramento County residents and how SFBFS engages in advocacy.
Andrew Cheyne, CAFB’s Director of Government Affairs, spoke about the incredible work of food banks within communities, the importance of food systems and policies and why it's essential we support food banks year-round. This is a timely concern as incoming Governor Gavin Newsom will take his oath of office on January 7, and soon after share the state’s budget. It’s critical lawmakers fund food programs year-round as CalFresh is our first line of defense against hunger, providing nutrition assistance to nearly 200,000 Sacramento neighbors every month. Volunteering time and donating dollars is valuable but lending your voice can also make an impact. When we communicate with legislators, encouraging them to work toward ending hunger, we can make a difference. Advocacy is for everyone!
Denise Jordan was successful by all measures until she faced a medical crisis, lost her job and financial security. After brain surgery she struggled with food insecurity and became despondent. She shared her story to highlight the hope and prosperity she found after connecting with SFBFS, “I ended up in Sacramento and needed more help.” SFBFS was a source of fresh produce and nutrition for Denise as she regained her health. She was interested in applying for CalFresh but dreaded the process. Lorena Carranza, SFBFS’ CalFresh Outreach Manager, was able to guide Denise through the CalFresh application, “I was done in 5 minutes and it was so easy! The environment was loving and comfortable and made me feel good.” Within the week Denise was approved. Denise has recently started a new job and says “SFBFS gave me joy, hope, excitement and my life back! Life is good.”
Become involved in our local and state-wide food system by sending e-mails, making calls and submitting comments via facebook and twitter to urge support from legislators in the fight against hunger.
Jennifer Postlethwaite, Communications Coordinator
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services