Impact Report 2023

Our Reach

Founded in 1975, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano strives to serve all people experiencing hunger or food insecurity in Solano and Contra Costa counties and to never turn anyone away.

Through our partnership with Feeding America, a nonprofit network of 200 food banks and the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization, we lend support to hunger-fighting organizations in 18 Northern California counties.

Table of Contents

Our Mission

Leading the fight to end hunger, in partnership with our community and in service of our neighbors in need.

Building a hunger-free community together

Your support allows us to distribute much-needed food throughout our two counties every day of the week through direct distributions and our network of community partners, including soup kitchens, food pantries and childcare centers.

And, you support critical work to create long-term solutions to hunger, improve our community’s well-being and strengthen the safety net for everyone in Contra Costa and Solano Counties.

“With the staples that we get, it’s very good. Every Tuesday we get tuna, rice, beans, some fruits. It’s a big, big help.”

- Thomas

Our Roadmap to Closing the Hunger Gap

Thanks to you, the critical work continues as we execute on the three pillars of our strategic plan.

1

Empowering Our Agencies

Our agency network is scaling up to deliver more fresh, nutritious food where it’s needed most.

2

Improving Health Outcomes

You’re helping vulnerable populations manage and maintain their health through targeted programming, education and advocacy.

3

Enhancing Data and Technology

New technology and operational procedures are creating a more efficient Food Bank, where your support goes further.

A Message from the Food Bank Executive Leadership Team

For many of our neighbors facing hunger, this was a challenging year. The safety net that had supported them was suddenly pulled away as emergency food benefits and other pandemic-era protections were allowed to expire. At the same time, prices for basic necessities like housing, food and fuel continued to rise and rise — and have never come down.

With these increasing costs, the Food Bank also faced similar challenges. But, as more of our neighbors turned to our programs each month to keep food on their tables, people like you came together to ensure that the Food Bank continues to serve as a powerful, local safety net. All of you — from the volunteers who came out in record numbers to our steadfast donor community — have ensured your neighbors can trust the Food Bank to be there every time they need it.

What we’ve built together is powerful. While we face increased need, decreased donations, and food inflation, we are challenged to be more cost-efficient and resourceful in our services. We’re committed to keeping this safety net strong, stable, and ready to respond to the needs of our community, and meeting the goals outlined in our three-year strategic plan. Here are some of the steps we’ve taken to ensure we can continue to fill the hunger gap together for years to come:

  • Technology upgrades make your support go further
    Upgraded technology and procedures in our warehouses are providing us with the information we need to purchase foods that will make the most impact on hunger — and get them where they’re needed faster.
  • New menus offer flexibility and choice
    During our initial pandemic response, pre-packed dairy and protein boxes let us scale up quickly — but the higher cost meant we could only offer one type of box at each distribution. This year, we moved to purchasing individual food items, which increased food variety while reducing costs.
  • Filling the gaps for kids
    In its first year, our Kids Nutrition on Weekends program provided more than 90,000 weekend meals for students in Contra Costa and Solano Counties school districts. Thanks to you, we’re meeting a critical nutrition need for one of our most vulnerable populations, helping us continue to improve the long-term health of our community.

As you read this report, we hope the tremendous strength our community has displayed will inspire you. With you beside us, a brighter, hunger-free future is possible for all.

Food Bank Executive Leadership Team

Laura Moran

Interim CEO (until April 2024)
Kim Castaneda

Kim Castaneda, CFRE

Vice President of Development and Communications

Brian Morrow, CPA

Vice President of Finance

Darwin Bosen

Vice President of Operations and Programs

Krystine Dinh

Marketing and Communications Director & Acting Chief of Staff
Jennifer Costa, Director of Human Resources

Jennifer Costa, MA, PHR®

Director of People and Culture

Roth Johnson

Director of Finance

Alec Wiley

Director of IT

Chelo Gonzalez, MSOD

Director of Programs

Our Impact on Hunger

39 Million
Pounds of Food

distributed last year

DIRECT DISTRIBUTION SITES
provided food to our neighbors in need
0
PARTNER AGENCIES
including soup kitchens, food pantries and child development centers
0
VOLUNTEERS
served more than 108,000 volunteer hours
0
OF EVERY DOLLAR
went towards feeding the community
0 ¢
OF THE FOOD DISTRIBUTED
was fresh produce, proteins and dairy
0 %
PEOPLE*
served on average every month
*calculated as each time food is served to an individual
0

Meet Tanya

Tanya has plenty of plans for the 20 pounds of fresh produce she receives at our Community Produce Program distribution in Fairfield every two weeks. Growing up, the kitchen was the place her family gathered to cook, eat and spend time together. She appreciates your help continuing those traditions with her own young family, including her one-year-old daughter, Naomi.

We’re really low income right now and this really helps out,” she shares. “With this we can make a lot of recipes, and have leftovers and use those for other recipes as well. It’s really useful.”

With seven people in her multi-generational household, Tanya said being able to rely on the Food Bank for fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits provides real relief at the grocery store — especially with food costs 25% higher than they were a few years ago.

“And then for Naomi, since she’s growing, I like getting her a lot of veggies to try to be healthy,” Tanya adds.

Thanks to your support, the hearty soups and other dishes Tanya plans to make will provide her daughter with the essential nutrition she needs. And everyone in her family can enjoy the warmth that comes with good company, good conversation and a home-cooked meal.

“This helps a lot,” she says.

Highlights in Our Programs

July 2022

Community Produce Program turns 10!

We celebrated a decade of distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to our neighbors.

Oct 2022

Introducing K-NOW

We launched our Kids Nutrition on Weekends (K-NOW) program in partnership with local schools. These take-home food packs provide students with meals and snacks when school meals aren’t available.

Nov/Dec 2022

Happy, healthy holidays

Thanks to you, neighbors facing food insecurity enjoyed traditional holiday foods and seasonal produce at our distributions and through our agency partners.

April 2023

Partner power-up

We awarded $780,000 in grants to our nonprofit partners to fund vehicles, refrigeration equipment and building improvements that will help them distribute more healthy, fresh food.

Change from the Ground Up

Supporting our Diverse Community from Farm to Food Bank

In 2022, we shared with you our focus on sourcing more produce from local distributors and farms led by people who are Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and women. In 2023, we did just that, and purchased 310,000 pounds of produce from small farms located within our service area and owned by BIPOC and women.

When we buy local, your support provides neighbors with fresh, culturally-relevant food grown in their own backyards — while also contributing to economic development and year-round employment in our community. And with produce traveling no more than 20 miles to our warehouse, these partnerships also reduce our impact on the place we all call home.

Terra Firma Farms, a family-owned farm in Solano County, is one of our closest farm partners. Visit our blog to hear how working with the Food Bank has made a difference to their family-owned farm — and see the incredible, nutritious produce you help them provide to our neighbors in need.

“It really makes me feel nice to know that we’re getting the proper nutrition to people who definitely need it.”

– Eric Yuke, Terra Firms Farms

You're Part of a Food Bank Milestone…

A record-breaking 8,000 volunteers gave their time to help our neighbors in need this year! Together, they donated the time equivalent to 52 full-time staff positions. We couldn’t do our work without them!

With more neighbors facing hunger than ever at our distributions, volunteers stepped up and made sure we could continue to provide food to everyone.

Thank you to all who served hours in 2023!

Meet our Volunteer, Darryn

A volunteer outing with her workplace brought Darryn to the Food Bank more than 20 years ago, and she’s been giving her time to fight hunger ever since. Over the years she’s boxed, sorted and distributed food through several of our programs — and made a difference for countless neighbors in need.

What draws you to volunteering?
“The people are fantastic. I love the [team] in the Food Bank warehouse and the site coordinators. And it’s nice to be doing good. My mom always accused me of wanting to save the world, so I’m doing my part.”

What do you want to share with others about volunteering?
“There are so many different things you can do. If you don’t want to stand or you can’t stand, you can pack produce sitting down or you can volunteer in the office. Just check online — there’s something for everyone.”

Sign up for a shift now: volunteer.foodbankccs.org

Advocating for a Hunger-Free Future

Distributing food isn’t the only way we’re fighting hunger. We also partner with passionate hunger fighters and community members who have personally experienced hunger to advocate for programs and policies that can help end hunger for good at the local, state and federal level.

During the 2023 fiscal year, we focused our advocacy on…

  • Keeping social safety net programs robust, funded and reliably accessible
  • Strengthening our food network so it can respond to challenges like food insecurity and natural disasters
  • Nourishing community partnerships that create and support hunger solutions

Meet our Advocate, Willie

As a member of our Community Advocacy Partnership, Willie helps shape our legislative agenda and speaks up for policies that can end hunger at the local, state and national level. You may also know him as a member of our volunteer services team.

Why did you become a community advocate? I believe that in order for us to make a long-term lasting impact in our community, we have to use our voices 100%. All of us, every single one of us.

I raised two kids as a single father, and that gave me an understanding of the challenges that many families are facing in our community. I can speak to things that you might not think about until you’re in those shoes – like trying to balance paying for childcare with kids’ clothes and gas and bills.

How does advocacy help end hunger? Making foundational change is key. The work of the Food Bank is critical, but we know that for things to change for families and for individuals, the foundation has to be strengthened. I want to be a voice for policies that can level the playing field for families like mine.

Highlights in Our Advocacy Initiatives

September 2022

Community advocacy in D.C.

Food Bank board member and advocate, Keva Dean shared her experience of hunger with lawmakers and hunger fighters from across the nation at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

February 2023

Supporting our safety net

Our advocacy team attended a Farm Bill listening session at the World Ag Expo to encourage legislators to maintain strong funding for nutrition programs. The Farm Bill will determine federal funding for these programs for the next five years. It remains a top priority in 2024.

March 2023

Pandemic food aid ends

Emergency CalFresh allotments expired — reducing many neighbors’ grocery budgets to as little as $23 a month and increasing the need for Food Bank programs, which escalated our advocacy to maintain and strengthen CalFresh.

May 2023

Using their voices

A new group of community advocates graduated from our Speaker Series — an award-winning advocacy and public speaking program focused on those with lived experiences of hunger.

Disaster Relief: A Safety Net Across the Ocean

Through our partnership with Feeding America, your help extended all the way to Hawaii.

Since the Camp Fire in 2018, you’ve helped us get emergency food and water to thousands of Californians whose lives have been disrupted by wildfire. And this year we leapt into action again, in support of our neighbors affected by the devastating Maui wildfires.

Acting in our capacity as Feeding America’s west coast disaster hub, we’ve coordinated 34 sea shipments of food, water and first aid supplies to the Hawaii Food Bank for distribution to those in Maui affected by the disaster. Working with our fellow food banks ensures that more support goes directly to emergency supplies and aid – instead of shipping and port fees.

“We wouldn’t have been able to pivot and offer our assistance to Maui Food Bank had it not been for the help through Feeding America’s network,” shares Teri Luna, Director of Produce Resourcing at Hawaii Food Bank. “It is indeed a blessing to have food banks that… take my call and say, ‘How can we help?’”

Teri Luna (left), Director of Product Resourcing, at the Hawaii Food Bank visited our Fairfield warehouse to thank Food Bank staff like Jeff Clark, Distribution Warehouse Manager, and Karen Collins, Food Resource Manager, for their ongoing support.

Did you know? The Food Bank maintains stockpiles of emergency food and water across Northern California to ensure we can provide swift aid to victims of disaster even if our transportation network is compromised.

Nourishing the Next Generation

Our next steps in the fight against hunger.

This year made it clear that the safety net we’ve built together is powerful. Because of you, our neighbors know they can trust the Food Bank to be there for them, no matter what challenges they face.

As we look ahead, our strategic plan continues to be our North Star. Through challenges, changing political climates, and economical environments — the Food Bank will continue to be a steadfast resource for our community. And we’re constantly thinking of how to improve and innovate. Here are a few upcoming initiatives.

  • Our new food lockers will offer our neighbors a more flexible way to access food, that doesn’t conflict with work and childcare obligations.
  • A nutritional ranking system will help us, our agency partners and our neighbors make food choices that lead to better health outcomes and decrease chronic health issues now and in the future.
  • Our 2024 legislative agenda focuses on maintaining and strengthening social safety net programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and CalFresh, as well as food systems and community partnerships that create a stable foundation for our neighbors to help prevent hunger.

“The store is so expensive. I’m glad to come here and get some things that I can’t buy in the stores… the eggs, tortillas, all the vegetables.”

- Rose

Bring the Food Bank to Work

Corporate partners have a new way to join the fight against hunger in their community. Our new onsite team-building program, launched in 2023, brings the volunteer experience to your doorstep. We’ll provide everything needed to fight hunger, so your team can focus on making a difference together. To learn more about this and other partnership opportunities, contact sponsorships@foodbankccs.org.

Our Financials

Support & Revenue

Individuals$9,559,452
Corporations$2,679,762
Foundation Grants$3,332,212
Government Grants$9,290,965
Organizational Support$154,560
Other Grants$879,617
Value of Donated Food Received$106,557,939
Investments$590,032
Fees and Service Charges$1,556,986
Other Revenue$393,948
TOTAL SUPPORT AND REVENUE$134,995,473
Revenue: 37% individuals 36% government grants 13% Foundation Grants 10% Corporations 3% Other Grants 1% Organizational Support

Expenses

Programs, Services and Food Distributed$136,169,118
Resource Development and Fundraising$3,481,316
Management and General Expenses$1,461,372
TOTAL EXPENSES$141,111,806
Charity Navigator Four-Star Charity Rating
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*Revenue pie chart does not include Value of Donated Food, Investments, Fees and Service Charges, and Other Revenue.

Our Board of Directors

Elected 2012

Senior Vice President, Strategy and Sustainability, Prophet

Elected 2019

Head of People, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Elected 2020

Chief Financial Officer, Total Safety Supplies and Solutions

Elected 2023

Senior Program Manager, Microsoft Corp.

Elected 2023

Managing Director, Scannell Properties

Elected 2022

College Health Nurse, Saint Mary's College of California

Dan Birkhaeuser
Elected 2022

Partner, Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP

Elected 2022

Senior Vice President, Comerica Bank

Keva Dean
Elected 2022

Retired, Eligibility Work Supervisor, Contra Costa County

Photo coming soon
Elected 2023

Vice President of University Advancement, Touro University

Elected 2023

Executive/Advisor to Early Stage Life Science Companies

Melissa Jones
Elected 2018

Executive Vice President, Chief HR Officer, CSAA Insurance Group

Teresa Makarewicz
Elected 2019

Retired, Manager CA Business Coordination, Shell Oil Products US

Bruce Phelps
Elected 2018

Retired, President and CEO, BiotecHPro Consulting, LLC

Elected 2022

Executive VP, Retail Banking, Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central CA

Elected 2023

Refinery Controller, Valero Benicia Refinery

Gretchen Tai
Elected 2022

Vice President, Investments, CSAA Insurance Group