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We are the California Association of Food Banks.

We’re helping to keep food banks stocked, safe, and able to serve our communities during this critical time.

Here’s what we’re doing:
 

Delivering Farm-fresh Food to Food Banks

Throughout the year, our Farm to Family program works with 240 famers, ranchers, packers, and others to secure high quality produce and protein and deliver it to food banks across our state. During COVID-19 our Farm to Family program has ramped up their operations, in partnership with California’s Department of Food and Agriculture and Office of Emergency Services, we are connecting with new food producers, forging new agricultural partnerships, and securing an abundance of donations that we quickly deliver to the food banks that need them most.

  • To learn more about our Farm to Family program, go here.
  • If you have food products that you would like to donate to our Farm to Family program, go here.


Keeping Food Banks Stocked

We are working on behalf of the California Department of Social Services to supply food banks with prepackaged, shelf stable food boxes. We’ve delivered 225,000 over the past month, and we’re not done yet. In addition to increasing food supply, by shipping prepackaged boxes we are alleviating some of the packaging burden associated with sorting and repackaging food. 

 

Securing Public & Private Funding for Food Banks

We are thankful to have secured $20M from the State to distribute food, and continue to push for $96M in additional resources to support food banks’ COVID-19 response work.

Funding from private organizations and foundations is essential to supporting COVID-19 response efforts as well. In addition to directly providing funds to our member food banks, we work to secure financial resources to offset costs of procuring and distributing food. To support this, we established the California Food Bank Rapid Response Fund which provides needed financial resources to our member food banks on the frontlines during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as through future disasters and crises. The Fund is equitably distributed across our network, with a small percentage retained for our own critical work.

  • If you are interested in donating to the fund, please contact terry@cafoodbanks.org
  • If you are interested in donating directly to us, go here
  • If you are interested in donating directly to a food bank, find one here.

 

Impacting Public Policy

Early on, we helped establish food banks’ role as an essential food provider within our state government guidance. We have also successfully pushed for flexibilities in Commodity Supplemental Food Program, The Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Summer Food Service Program -- such as allowing parents the ability to pick up meals without the presence of a child as well as establishing Pandemic EBT to further support families’ food needs -- and we continue to advocate for extensions of these important program features.

 

Advocating & Implementing CalFresh Changes

CalFresh is our state’s most essential nutrition safety net. For every meal food banks provide, CalFresh provides nine. We successfully advocated for the halt of reporting and recertification requirements for recipients until June, to establish online grocery purchasing to ease the burden of getting to a grocery store, and to increase CalFresh benefits to the maximum allotted per household size, for March and April.

As layoffs ripple through our community, applications for CalFresh have significantly increased since the stay at home order went into effect. We are working with partners to pilot new programs that help applicants -- via online chat or phone support -- understand and submit their CalFresh application.

  • If anyone needs to apply for CalFresh, go to getCalFresh.org
  • If you want to learn more about these program changes, go here.

 

Unlocking Workforce Support

We are in close communication with California Volunteers, and they continue to encourage volunteerism at food banks. In addition to securing the deployment of the National Guard and Conservation Corps, we are in conversations with community organizations to establish new partnerships that encourage volunteerism.

 

Building Communications Capacity

We keep food banks current on the latest policy updates, government guidance, and community resources, some of which we post on our website’s COVID-19 information page. We continue to provide food banks with media opportunities as well as with communications tools and toolkits to support their communications capacity.

 

In short, we work to ensure that our food banks have what they need to do what they do best, feed our communities.