Originally posted on The Vacaville Reporter: The holidays are a time of reflection, a time to express gratitude for all that we have. Unfortunately, many people don’t have all of their basic needs met, including sufficient access to food.
In this season of gratitude, I’d like to give thanks for all the wonderful things people in our community do for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano throughout the year.
I am thankful to have incredible financial support from the corporate community. Financial institutions, refineries, the real estate industry and small businesses all provide the Food Bank with generous funding. Not only do the organizations make financial donations, but many also encourage their employees to contribute by offering employer-matching programs.
It’s not just the businesses that give generously, more than half of our budget comes from individuals. I am extremely grateful for the thousands of individuals who fund our work with their generous personal financial donations. We honor all financial support by keeping our administrative and fundraising cost at four percent, and this allows us to distribute the equivalent of two meals for every dollar we receive.
People don’t just share their money with us; they also donate their precious time collecting food on our behalf. I want to recognize all the volunteers that organize food and fund drives within their businesses, schools, faith communities, neighborhoods and service clubs throughout the year. (On a related note, the Boy Scouts’ annual event, Scouting For Food, is coming up on November 21.)
We wouldn’t be able to process all the incoming food and serve the 190,000 people a month if we didn’t have our invaluable volunteers. Last year over 90,000 hours of volunteer time was donated to the Food Bank. Our supporters volunteer their time in our warehouses, in our offices, at community events and at our distribution sites.
I also would like to recognize the value of working with our nearly two hundred partner agencies throughout the year. We share the common goal of providing assistance to people in need within our community. Collectively, we are able to serve more people.
We appreciate our committed Board of Directors that gives their valuable time and expertise every year. These community volunteers are dedicated to the Food Bank’s mission of leading the fight to end hunger.
The Food Bank is also privileged to work collaboratively with city, county and state government. The County Cares food drive staged by Contra Costa and Solano County employees helps us greatly. Our collaboration with county government on increasing the number of eligible people receiving CalFresh benefits ensures people can get the food they need on a continuing basis.
If you have ever donated a single can of food, made a financial donation of any kind, volunteered your time, attended an event of ours … I thank you. It may seem like a small act to you, but to someone else it can be the difference between food on their table or skipping another meal.