Started in 1975, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano stores and distributes donated and purchased perishable and nonperishable food items. We distribute food directly to low-income people at community sites and make food available for other nonprofit organizations serving the ill, needy and children. The Food Bank works to reduce food waste, feed hungry people and raise public awareness of issues related to food and hunger.
About Our Work
In Contra Costa and Solano counties, 1 in 8 people rely on emergency food. The Food Bank has developed programs that address the size of this need as well as nutritional needs of the people we serve.
The Food Bank ensures safe food is available to the hungry in our community. We achieved a food safety certification and superior rating from the American Institute of Baking, International (AIB). AIB accreditation and audits are internationally recognized as the most stringent in the food industry.
We rely on more than 1,000 volunteers a month, over 70 staff members, a large fleet of trucks and two facilities totaling 70,000 square feet to procure and distribute food and grocery items.
For every dollar donated to our organization, we can provide enough food for two meals to people in need.
Where the Food Comes From
The Food Bank solicits donations of packaged, perishable and nonperishable food from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, brokers, food drives, gardens and individuals.
Regular donations of fresh produce are provided by the produce industry in a partnership with the California Association of Food Banks. Thanks to the generous support of our community, we are able to pay the nominal shipping and handling fee to transport the produce from the farm to our warehouse.
Through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), the federal emergency food program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) purchases USDA Foods, including processing and packaging, and makes it available to food banks (and other nonprofit organizations). We in turn distribute the USDA Foods to eligible recipients.
Wholesale Food Purchasing
The Food Bank purchases food in bulk to supplement donated products and provide the food most in demand throughout our community. We are also mindful of the types of food we purchase, and when possible, choose wholesome items such as lentils, whole grains, low-sodium alternatives, and high protein items. We would not be able to distribute as much food or these types of nutritious foods without purchasing and could not do that without community monetary support.
How the Food Goes Out
The food available is distributed directly to people in need through Food Bank programs and easily accessed by our partner agencies to distribute. Agencies place their orders online, then meet a Food Bank truck in a location near them. Once the food arrives at the agency, it is provided to families and individuals in need.