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Our First #MemberMonday: Central California Food Bank

January 25, 2021

The California Association of Food Banks supports more than 40 food banks statewide. We want to take the time to highlight each and every one of our hard-working members and all the incredible work they do. Each Monday we will be sharing these shoutouts in our #MemberMonday posts! We are so grateful for, and proud of, all of the support our members give to their communities.

And the feeling is mutual! “Central California Food Bank is thankful to have a statewide partner like CAFB that can raise awareness of hunger issues facing Central California and advocate for us and the families we serve to a statewide audience,” states Natalie Caples, Co-CEO. We think CCFB and their staff are pretty rad, too.

Central California Food Bank was founded in 1992 in Fresno, Calif. It currently serves Fresno, Madera, Kern, Kings, and Tulare Counties, and provides food to more than 300,000 people every single month.

One of those people is Kerry Figueroa. The global pandemic stripped Kerry and her husband of their jobs and medical benefits. Kerry was a clerical substitute and her husband worked in construction. The Figueroa family went from a two-income, benefitted family to unemployed and terrified, seemingly overnight. “Even scarier than our loss of income was the lack of availability of food in stores,” stated Kerry, “When panic-buying struck our area, it hit us very hard – food just wasn’t available and what was had limits which made shopping for our family of nine nearly impossible.”

Not having to worry about food during a time of such uncertainty is priceless.
Kerry Figueroa

The Figueroa family began attending a food distribution at their church which had been advertised for a long time, but that they had never needed to utilize. The food they received was extremely helpful, but picking it up was hard to juggle with children’s schedules, searching for jobs, and the logistics of figuring out how to just get by. When Kerry heard about Groceries2Go, CCFB’s new pick-up and delivery program, she knew it was the right program for her family. “My experience with Groceries2Go was fabulous and I would definitely use it again!,” exclaimed Kerry, “The food provided was wonderful and it was the first time my family received milk – I can’t tell you how much that alone helps!” Her family also received butter, eggs, fresh produce, and meat – things, she says, they are truly grateful for.

Many families like Kerry’s have made appointments for pick-ups and deliveries and are so glad to see the food wheeled out to their cars. “Food from Central California Food Bank gives our family peace of mind because not having to worry about food during a time of such uncertainty is priceless,” said Kerry. “As parents, we try our best to shelter our children from the worries of the world, but this year changed everything. They have seen me at my worst, but when they see me walk through the door with boxes of food, it is visible that they feel a sense of relief.”

Thankfully, Kerry has returned to work as the Admissions Coordinator for a local behavioral health facility. She enjoys her new role and due to the current state of the world, she finds the mental health field to be busier than ever. As her husband continues to seek employment, her family remains extremely thankful that there are organizations like Central California Food Bank available to help. And so do we.

You can become a FEED365 Sustaining Donor for Central California Food Bank, and ensure stability for families like the Figueroas that are facing food insecurity.

Story and photos courtesy Central California Food Bank. Check out their website, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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