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North Bay Fire Update

October 12, 2017

A message from Sue Sigler, Executive Director of California Association of Food Banks

The past several days have been intense for many in our network, and we want to give you an update on the North Bay fires.

Food Banks in affected areas:

Redwood Empire Food Bank has not been damaged and is fully operational, although individual employees have lost homes and all are coping with deep loss among family, friends and the community. The food bank asks for:

• financial contributions

• donations of ready-to-eat foods (please contact Steve Linkhart, Farm to Family Director, if you can address this need)

• on-site volunteers (sign up at refb.org)

Alameda County Community Food Bank worked with FedEx to get disaster relief supplies to the area, SF-Marin is serving evacuation centers in Marin County, Food for People has sent staff and a truck, and we know many more of you have extended a helping hand. Thank you!

Napa Valley Food Bank is also not damaged but lost power, phone, and internet service. Limited cell service has been restored, and they have been provided with a refrigerated truck for cold food storage, and employees may be impacted. Shirley King reports that the hospitality industry has been generous with food supplies, and she is being supported by Larry Sly and his team at Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

Yuba-Sutter Food Bank reports having adequate food and support for their relief efforts at the moment.

Fort Bragg Food Bank is also responding that they are able to meet their community’s needs at the moment.

All impacted food banks are in need of cash donations. If you are supporting the effort through social media, here are links that can be used:

Redwood Empire Food Bank 
Community Action of Napa Valley Food Bank
Yuba-Sutter Food Bank
Fort Bragg Food Bank

Newly added:

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
Community Action Agency of Butte County
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County

CAFB is monitoring state and federal developments to maximize individual assistance, including disaster TEFAP, Disaster SNAP, and replacement benefits. Governor Brown requested and received a federal major disaster declaration for nine counties. The declaration request included Individual Assistance, which can include DSNAP. The declaration makes numerous types of assistance available, and as is typical, the focus is on immediate resources to respond to fire containment and DSNAP may be made available once conditions on the ground have been assessed.

In the meantime, affected counties can request from the state the ability to provide replacement benefits to affected CalFresh recipients, and a waiver allowing benefits to be used for hot meals. It is highly likely that at least Sonoma, Napa and perhaps other counties will also request to implement DSNAP. Andrew Cheyne, Director of Government Affairs, is monitoring progress on the response, and Stephanie Nishio, Director of Programs, is prepared to mobilize outreach workers if and when the approvals are received.

It’s in hard times like these that we typically see the best in our network and this disaster is no exception. Thank you to everyone for reaching out, and we’ll be in touch when we have updates as they are available.


Sue Sigler

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