Originally posted on the Vacaville Reporter: We have just had one of the most contentious elections I can remember. Many people believed strongly in the candidate they preferred and had little positive to say about their opponent. Political differences will always exist, as they always have, and people will always want to advance their point of view. What gives us hope today is that people on both sides say they believe in American democracy and are committed to working together for the good of the county.
Gerald Ford was president when the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano came into existence. We continued to feed people in need through the tenure of the next six Presidents, with three of them being Republicans and three of them being Democrats.
The Food Bank has been able to withstand the changing political tide over the last four decades because the reality is that the Food Bank receives very little government financial support and relies mainly on the local community for our funding. In fact, less than 10 percent of the annual budget is from government contributions.
With that said, our work is influenced by national efforts to address the needs of hungry people in our community. We speak with authority to our local elected officials that there are 190,000 people EACH MONTH in our area who need our help to obtain food.
We rely on our representatives to relay that message to Washington D.C. that we serve 1 in 8 of our community members and we can’t do it alone. The food distributed by the Food Bank to low-income children, seniors, individuals and families in need is in supplemental quantities.
For some, that’s enough to get by. However, others need additional assistance, which is why we advocate for public policy that helps assure everyone has access to adequate amounts of nutritious food.
We work with county governments to help increase participation in the CalFresh program, the first line of defense against hunger. We also have strong relationships with school districts and advocate for the continuation of the federally-assisted National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. We want to do our part to ensure that low-income students get the meals they need to succeed and thrive to help the future generation.
While the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano — and Feeding America (our national network of food banks) — prepare to work with newly elected officials, we remain dedicated to meeting the needs of the hungry people we serve.
We encourage everyone to help create the community they want to live in — a place where no one has to go to bed hungry. If you’d like to donate to the Food Bank this holiday season, please visit foodbankccs.org/holidays.