Originally posted on The Vacaville Reporter: The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano faces an enormous task every year distributing 20 million pounds of food to people in need.
We want to do our work effectively, so we need well-trained professional staff.
We need a warehouse that meets food-safety standards, inventory systems and trucks. We need boxes, shrink wrap, pallets and forklifts.
We pay handling and transportation fees for the fresh produce we distribute. While the average cost of produce is only ten cents a pound it becomes a significant amount when you multiply it by the 10 million pounds of produce we distribute.
We are committed to being effective in the work we do, and provide four dollars of food for every dollar we spend.
Our management and fund development costs are 4 percent. We know we are an organization that is well run and meets an important need.
In order to keep providing healthy food to people in need, we must ask community members to invest in the work we do. Asking people to help pay our operating costs is something we continue to do because people generally do not give unless they are asked.
The Food Bank receives less than 10 percent of our operating revenue from the government, but a bigger percentage of our support comes from corporations, foundations, service clubs and faith communities. But most of the money that supports our work comes from individuals.
Nearly half our operating revenue comes from people in the community who believe it is not acceptable for people to be hungry. They understand that money given to the Food Bank provides fresh produce to low-income senior citizens through our Senior Food Program.
They see fresh produce distributed from our trucks at our Community Produce Program sites throughout Solano and Contra Costa counties. They see us distribute food to nearly 200 non-profit organizations that provide food to those in need.
People know they can make a difference in their community by making a tax deductible donation to the Food Bank’s work.
As the year comes to a close and people consider the taxes they will pay, I hope they consider the good they can do with donations to causes that matter to them.
There is a strong non-profit community in Solano and Contra Costa counties that provides food, shelter, counseling, education, and other services to our neighbors in need.
People should be deliberate about where they give (Charity Navigator is a great tool that evaluates non-profit organizations) but they should give to causes that matter to them.
In a time when resources for non-profits continue to shrink, it is critical that the community step forward to help make a difference.
We are a society that cares for each other and we can make a difference for our neighbors who need help.
We are better when we care for those who need our help.
To donate to the food bank online, visit http://www.foodbankccs.org/give-help/donate.html. You can also learn how to become a pledge donor at the website. Or you may consider making a gift to the Food Bank as a tribute or memorial to a loved one. You can donate online or mail a check to Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, P.O. Box 6324 Concord, CA 94524. And you can have your gifts matched as many companies match employee donations made to organizations like the Food Bank. This doubles the donation and doubles the impact. Or you could start a unique donation page in less than 10 clicks to raise much-needed funds with the help of your family and friends. Include the personalized link in your emails, social media and event invitations for a fun and easy way to invite others to support the Food Bank and make a big difference. You can even start teams to have a friendly competition with friends and coworkers. Learn More about Custom Fund Drives at: http://www.foodbankccs.org/holidays.
The author is executive director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, based in Concord. Email: email@example.com