Helping Hands: Local Food Banks
According to the California Association of Food Banks, "1 in 8 Californian's struggles with food insecurity. Food insecurity is the occasional or constant lack of access to the food one needs for a healthy, active life."
Food is vital for living and those who don’t get enough can suffer from physical and mental health problems. It can affect every aspect of their lives from school to work performance and home life. Hunger is not limited to certain people. Children, seniors, disabled, working poor, and people who are dealing with unexpected expenses can be affected. If you or someone you know is experiencing hunger, there is help.
CALIFORNIA EMERGENCY FOODLINK, SACRAMENTO
They are the largest food distribution agency in the Nation. Food goes from their donors to the food banks, then to the people that need it. foodlink.org
Get Help: Find a food bank near you via foodlink.org/find-a-food-bank
Give Help: Donate money, donate food, volunteer or advocate for policy change.
RIVER CITY FOOD BANK, SACRAMENTO
Sacramento’s oldest, continuously-serving food bank, was founded by the community for the community in 1968. They not only provide food but also nutritional counseling. rivercityfoodbank.org
Get Help: Their programs include food aid, cooking classes, and information on CalFresh—a state-run program for people with low-income.
Give Help: Donate food, money or time.
ORANGEVALE FOOD BANK, ORANGEVALE
They provide healthy, fresh groceries to families in need from Orangevale and Fair Oaks. orangevalefoodbank.org
Get Help: You can stop by 6483 Main Avenue in Orangevale on Mondays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesdays from 4:30-6:30 p.m. or Thursdays from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Give Help: Volunteer with grocery store food drives, weekly food distribution, and the community garden or make a monetary donation.
SACRAMENTO FOOD BANK & FAMILY SERVICES (SFBFS)
Sacramento SFBS is the Food Bank for the entire County of Sacramento. Together with their network of over 220 partner agencies, they provide free nutritious food, emergency goods, and family services to over 150,000 men, women and children each month. sacramentofoodbank.org
Get Help: For a food distribution near you, visit sacramentofoodbank.org.
Give Help: You can donate online, volunteer or register for Run to Feed the Hungry at runtofeedthehungry.com.
ELK GROVE FOOD BANK, ELK GROVE
Since 2009, they’ve grown from two programs to 16 programs—all of which are free to those in need. They also provide families with dog and cat food. elkgrovefoodbank.org
Get Help: They’re open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon.
Give Help: You can make a one-time donation, monthly donations, adopt a family, help pets and more.
PLACER FOOD BANK, ROSEVILLE
They provide hunger relief for El Dorado, Nevada, and Placer Counties. placerfoodbank.org
Get Help: Search their distribution agencies at placerfoodbank.org/get-food.
Give Help: Donate food or money, volunteer, host a food drive or play bingo while supporting the food bank.
TWIN LAKES FOOD BANK, FOLSOM
They have on-site food distribution for residents of Folsom, El Dorado Hills, and Granite Bay. Pantry on Wheels delivers to senior centers in Folsom, and Angels on Wheels delivers to home-bound seniors. twinlakesfoodbank.org
Get Help: Get groceries, organic produce, and even baby supplies.
Give Help: Donate, volunteer, help out at the garden or host a food drive.
FOOD BANK EL DORADO COUNTY, CAMERON PARK
They’ve been providing food assistance to rural and remote communities throughout El Dorado County for almost 20 years. foodbankedc.org
Get Help: Get emergency food assistance or if you’re a veteran, avail of their No Vet Goes Hungry program. Find a distribution site near you by visiting foodbankedc.org/get-help.
Give Help: Donate food or money, host a food drive or bequest through an estate plan.In the end, there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. “The takeaway is that this is a complicated topic that is best addressed with expert eyes and ears for finest results,” says Peronel.