Nearly one in four youth in Sacramento County struggle with food insecurity. Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services’ (SFBFS) No Student Left Hungry addresses this need by facilitating food distributions on Sacramento school campuses. SFBFS’ goal is to bring healthy options to local students and their families.
No Student Left Hungry serves students of all ages, from kindergarten to university. Distributions occur at schools within Sacramento City Unified, Twin Rivers Unified and Robla Elementary school districts. Additionally, SFBFS supports distributions at American River College, Sacramento City College and Sacramento State University. Much of the food utilized by this program is donated to SFBFS and packaged by a team of 136 regular volunteers each month. Four of those big-hearted volunteers are Jacquelyn Truax and her clients, Mallorie, Christina and Katie.
Jacquelyn works as a Day Services Instructor for an organization called Choices Person Centered Services (CPCS), which provides people with disabilities the opportunity to uphold individual dignity, promoting a healthy and independent lifestyle. Day Services Instructors focus on providing vocational training, community integration, teaching self-advocacy, self-expression and functional living skills for developmentally disabled adult clients.
Having volunteered previously at a food bank in Reno, Jacquelyn thought it might be a good experience to share with her clients. Jacquelyn discovered SFBFS while browsing the internet for new activities her clients could enjoy. Shortly after, she brought her clients to volunteer orientation and determined what activity best worked with their collective schedule.
Now, the four of them can be found volunteering each Friday morning at 10 a.m. sharp, at SFBFS’ Food Bank Services campus. “We have bagged all sorts of produce, sorted through packaged goods and re-bagged bulk items. My clients like bagging produce the best.” Jacquelyn explained.
With an educational background in Health and Nutrition, Jacquelyn is very knowledgeable in all things food related. When she is not out in the community volunteering with her clients, Jacquelyn also leads a number of classes for other clients at CPCS which include cooking, nutrition and personal wellness activities such as yoga.
“The best thing is to see my clients working hard, socializing and enjoying themselves.” Jacquelyn said. “My clients enjoy volunteering and they like the variety of jobs to be done every week. They look forward to Food Bank Fridays.”
Volunteers like Jacquelyn, Mallorie, Christina and Katie are absolutely essential to all of SFBFS’ programs. With them, tremendous feats are made possible - last fiscal year the No Student Left Hungry distributed 555,679 pounds of nutritious food to the community. SFBFS could not accomplish such a task without the valuable work of our volunteer corps.
Volunteer Services Assistant Manager
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services