The Community Food Bank of San Benito County is preparing to celebrate 25 years of service and is energized to insure the long-term future of our organization to effectively address hunger in our beautiful, bountiful community. Our long term mission to provide food, nutritional education and advocacy for those in need within San Benito County continues to inspire our efforts to secure sustainable funding ensuring we carry forward in service.
THE NEW FACILITY
Long- dreamed-of opportunities are poised to unfold as we recently received word that our $1.4 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application through the City of Hollister has been awarded for our new facility! Pending completion of State contracts for these funds in early 2014, the Community Food Bank will have secured over $2 million in grant and low-interest loan funding towards the replacement of our small, outdated and inefficient warehouse and distribution facility. This represents approximately 90% of the funds needed for this project. Our Board will soon embark on a capital fund campaign to secure the remaining resources needed to get the building completed and will continue this effort as necessary to significantly reduce or eliminate the need to rely on loan funds. We couldn’t be more excited about this amazing gift and the long term impact it will have on our services.
This CDBG grant also provides much needed operational funding ($200,000) useable over a two-year period. These resources will allow our staffing and operating hours to more effectively reflect the demands of our clients and build operating capacity to carry us forward.
We are pleased and thankful to announce several new major grants this year including a $125,000 two-year operations grant from the Packard Foundation, and a three-year $80,000 operations and capacity development grant from the Community Leadership Project funded jointly by the Packard and Hewlett Foundations through our own Community Foundation for San Benito County.
This year also marks a renewal of local governmental support for our services as we have gratefully received operations grants from both the City of Hollister ($5,000) and the County of San Benito ($10,200).
The Community Foundation for SBC has granted support ($15,000) this year for our Senior Brown Bag Delivery Program which reaffirms their continued strong commitment to sustain vital safety-net services in our community.
The Packard Foundation Grant
The Packard Foundation‘s generous $125,000 gift will support operation expenses over the next two years. In accepting this grant, our commitment and focus during this time is to work hard to develop new sustained funding commitments from individual, corporate, foundation and organizational donors sufficient to meet our current and future basic needs and allow us to rebuild our dangerously depleted emergency fund balance.
Thankfully this Packard Foundation Grant will give us a little short-term “breathing room” while we continue to aggressively pursue long-term funding solutions on all fronts including our upcoming 2013 Holiday Food Drive, Annual Dinner Dance fundraiser, and potential Monterey Peninsula Foundation grant.
The importance of local private, governmental and Foundation support and confidence cannot be overstated. Not only can bills be paid but, our success in securing local dollars sends a significant message to the broader pool of potential new donor organizations and individuals to whom the Food Bank is reaching out for sustainable long-term funds.
This infusion of operational revenues comes at a pivotal time in our Food Bank history. While we have weathered what we believe to be the worst of the Great Recession, our client demand remains high, our fundraising efforts continue to reflect the uncertainties of the current economic climate, replacement of our aged trucks and warehouse equipment looms, and our present facility is too small and no longer conducive to efficient food handling, storage or distribution.
COMMUNITY NEED REMAINS HIGH
Founded in 1989 as the Community Pantry, today's Community Food Bank embarks on its 25th year of service to San Benito County. Our client population has grown from a handful of folks in our first year to the over 5,000 individuals receiving food each week. Today we reach over 450 senior citizens with home and congregate “brown bag” deliveries; over 1200 families including 2000 children get food through one of our 12 distribution sites throughout the County. Our bare bones operations budget and limited staff of 5 employees requires approximately $500,000 per year in resources to keep services available at current levels.
We look forward to expanding our dialogue with the San Benito Community as we work together in service to alleviate hunger and contribute to a healthy thriving community for all residents. Watch for upcoming opportunities to help us realize the promise of a new facility, and our weekly food distribution services.
For questions or additional information contact Mary Anne Hughes, Executive Director, (831) 637-0340