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Wildfires Update

October 19, 2017

While the totality of the damage caused by the fires is still being determined, here is an update on what we know right now (more updates expected next week):

Northern California

Redwood Empire Food Bank has not been damaged and is fully operational, although individual employees have lost homes and all are coping with profound loss among family, friends and the community. On October 19th alone, the food bank served 76 families per hour. The food bank asks for:

► financial contributions

► donations of ready-to-eat foods (please contact Steve Linkhart, Farm to Family Director, if you are a food bank or producer who can address this need, if you are an individual Redwood Empire is accepting donations in their back parking lot, 3990 Brickway Boulevard, Santa Rosa, CA 95403 until 6:00 pm)

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

David Goodman, Executive Director of Redwood Empire Food Bank, recently shared the following:

“We are grateful to so many:

  • *The SF-Marin Food Bank for sharing their exceptional warehouse people. I’d like to highlight Barbara Abbott, their Director of Food Sourcing and Allocation who took the initiative to run air traffic control for so many donations. Our ability to respond was greatly improved due to Barbara’s contribution.
  • *The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has loaned us additional warehouse staff to help move the donations. All good people.
  • *Food for People sent us another staff person who has been successfully wrangling volunteers and food community donations.
  • *Andy Souza at the Community Food Bank of Fresno, having been through “Drought Relief,” provided guidance on serving people effected by disaster.
  • *Patrick Crawford from Feeding America has been tremendously supportive of our work, and has been a good advisor throughout the process.
  • *The California Association of Food Banks has been steady in their supply of vegetables and fruit of the highest quality.”


Napa Valley Food Bank is also not damaged but lost power, phone, and internet service, and employees have been impacted. Limited cell service has been restored, and they have been provided with a refrigerated truck for cold food storage. They are providing food to agencies preparing meals at evacuation centers and distributing food through their regular pantries, as fire conditions permit. They cannot take any donation of food at this time and ask for:

► financial contributions

► gift cards for fuel, clothing, personal hygiene supplies

► volunteer drivers to deliver food (contact Shirley King, 707-253-6128)

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.

Southern California

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County contacted their partners in the affected area but they were able to handle the need themselves. They are on standby in case their help is needed.


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 consist of D-SNAP. The declaration makes numerous types of assistance available, and as is typical, the focus is on immediate resources to respond to fire containment and D-SNAP may be made available once conditions on the ground have been assessed. 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.

CalFresh recipients who live in certain zip codes (see below) may have noticed additional funds on their EBT cards. Replacement benefits were automatically added to EBT cards on October 16th to help replenish food that was likely lost due to the fires. Please help spread the word, so CalFresh recipients are aware of the additional benefits.

CalFresh recipients who experienced food loss and live in other zip codes are also eligible to have their benefits replaced; they should contact their county CalFresh office.

CalFresh recipients living in the following zip codes have received replacement benefits:


95452, 94515, 95492, 95442, 95403, 95406, 95439, 95409, and 95433


94581 and 94558


95424, 95443, and 95458


95469 and 95470


95946 and 95975


95918, 95922, 95962, 95972, and 95977

More zip codes may be added; we will update as more information is available.

(Photo from Redwood Empire Food Bank)

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