Originally posted in the Vacaville Reporter: In spite of what we think when we hear the word, having an audit done is not a negative thing. As a charitable organization, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano knows we should have outside experts evaluate the way we manage our financial affairs. We want those we ask to give us food and money to know that we are doing the work they want to support. Our audits show community members that we are accomplishing the important work people want to see done.
As we are doing the final review of our audit for 2014, it is very helpful to me to look at what we have accomplished. We establish goals each year and June 30 is when we stop the clock and look at how we have done. In the last fiscal year, we distributed over 20 million pounds of food and half of those pounds were fresh produce. Our administrative and fund development costs are less than 4% of our budget. We have reason to be proud we are running an efficient organization that is meeting the needs of hungry people in our community.
But when I consider where the support comes from that makes our work possible, I am even more proud of the work we do. If I look at a random list of contacts I have had in the past few months, I see amazing community connections. We receive support from Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, League of Women Voters, Valero, Shell, Tesoro, Chevron, Janssen, Safeway, Whole Foods, Genentech, and Walmart.
The Food Bank gets help from Solano and Contra Costa County employees, Contra Costa Bar Association (and a bunch of law firms), Realtors in Motion, the County Library, St. Mary’s College, Prophet, the Rossmoor Harvest Festival and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church’s crab feed. Food, money and volunteers come from Stanley Middle School, Hercules Middle School, Valhalla School, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Pacific Service Credit Union, Bloomingdales and Forma Gym.
We also receive over half our financial support from individuals. Some people donate once a year, some people donate every month. People ask friends to give money to the Food Bank instead of buying them birthday or wedding gifts. Parents bring their children to the Food Bank warehouse so they can give us the money they raised in their neighborhood. There is a sense of community that comes from helping each other.
Our audit is a time we look at what we have done, and it shows me that we are part of a community that cares for their neighbors. When we put together efforts to provide food to those in need, we know that we can count on the strong support provided by our community. We are able to make a difference because we are part of a community that knows they can work with the Food Bank to get healthy food to their neighbors in need.