Father Dan Madigan founded Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) in 1976 and in the 40+ years since he began serving food out of the basement of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the organization has diversified to best meet the needs of our community. Parishioners began serving as the organization’s first volunteers and Catholics stepped up, making contributions to keep services going. Over time, programs expanded, an army of volunteers grew to include individuals of all ages, backgrounds and faiths and SFBFS’ support base expanded to represent individuals, corporations, special event participants and foundations.
Through it all, individuals from the Catholic church remain involved in Father Dan’s important work.
Thanks to the generosity of Catholics residing in the Diocese of Sacramento, SFBFS received $550,000 this year for programmatic support. Funds sustain Immigration Legal Services and Refugee Resettlement Services, both former programs of the Diocese of Sacramento, along with general operations at SFBFS’ Food Bank Services campus.
SFBFS fights food insecurity in our community with solutions that feed people literally and figuratively. Thanks to donations from local individuals through the annual Catholic appeal in the Sacramento area, SFBFS can provide low-cost immigration legal services to help eligible individuals navigate the complex process of obtaining legal status. SFBFS' one staff attorney, Department of Justice (DOJ) Accredited Representatives and supervised paralegal offer services ranging from consultations to full representation. SFBFS’ Immigration Legal Services team also focuses on educating community groups on the latest immigration issues.
SFBFS also offers Refugee Resettlement Services to welcome, orient and resettle hundreds of newcomers to our community every year. Refugees are individuals who fled their countries of origin and meet the United Nations’ criteria of having a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Refugees, having suffered greatly, including loss of their homes, livelihoods, possessions and often times family members, need assistance starting over in a new country. Their initial needs include food, clothing, shelter, employment, English as a Second Language and orientation to a new community and culture. Thanks to support from individuals, especially those who participate in the annual Catholic appeal, SFBFS plans each family's first 90 days after arrival to include furnishing appropriate housing, receiving the family at the airport and providing essentials such as food, clothing and household needs. Staff and volunteers also accompany newcomers to appointments for essential services, providing translation, transportation and support.
Generous donations through the annual Catholic appeal also provide vital operational support to provide food for hungry families in our community. A portion of funding from the annual Catholic appeal purchases essential equipment and critical supplies to store and process food, such as bins, produce back, shrink wrap for pallets of food and more. Funds also help cover the cost of operational vehicles to pick up and transport food items including produce and healthy food supplies. With a goal to reach more food insecure individuals, provide them with healthier options, this gift from Catholic families in our region makes a tremendous impact for families looking to lead their best lives.
Thank you to every donor to the annual Catholic appeal. Your gift provides hope to so many at SFBFS.
Submitted by Kelly Siefkin, VP of Communications & Marketing
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services