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Together, we are nourishing California through a crisis

December 29, 2020

What started as a health crisis quickly became an economic and hunger crisis. With schools shuttered, layoffs rippling through your communities, and the entire state coming to a standstill, food banks found themselves responding to an unprecedented demand for emergency food.

All the while, they were fielding cancellation of volunteers, rearranging their warehouses, updating their cleaning protocols, and setting up new distributions. Like them, the team at the California Association of Food Banks kicked into gear, working around the clock to make their needs known at the highest levels, and ensuring that the nourishment of our communities was a top priority. Together, we’ve accomplished a lot this year.

Keeping Food Flowing
In addition to the farm-fresh produce we deliver each month, we worked with the California Department of Social Services to supply food banks, community organizations, and tribes with prepackaged, shelf stable food boxes— including targeting boxes to areas where people were impacted by the wildfires.

  • 1.5M+ emergency food boxes delivered 
  • 179M pounds of produce, protein, & other food staples delivered

Influencing Policies that Impact Hunger 

Early on, we helped establish food banks as essential food providers within our state government guidance. We have successfully pushed for flexibility in numerous nutrition programs as well as advising on Pandemic EBT to further support families’ food needs.

  • $1.4B food purchased with Pandemic-EBT

Securing Funding for Food Banks

From the start, we were thankful to have secured $20M from the State, enabling distribution of food to our members. Shortly after we sought grants from philanthropic partners to provide privately-donated financial resources to our member food banks. Now, we’re actively engaging in cause marketing efforts. 

  • $165M in State fund provided to food banks
  • $9M+ in grants & produce subsidies

Advocating & Implementing CalFresh Changes

Working with CDSS, we successfully advocated to establish online grocery purchasing in order to ease the burden of getting to a grocery store, as well as to increase benefits to the maximum allowable allotments. We were able to support outreach partners in the pivot to online chat or phone support, as newly eligible individuals worked to understand and submit their CalFresh applications.

  • 19,348 Californians supported in applying for CalFresh

Unlocking Workforce Support

We quickly secured the deployment of the National Guard and other State assets. We still remain in close communication with California Volunteers to keep your workforce needs front and center, and to encourage volunteerism at food banks through their “Californians for All” initiative. 

  • 17,000+ potential volunteers provided to member food banks 

Together, we are a unified and powerful force for health and nourishment during this holiday season and the coming year.

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