Imagine!

Have you ever imagined how much better the future will be because of the good you do?  Imagine the difference a healthy meal makes in a day, compared to no meal at all.  Imagine how providing 3,850,000 healthy meals a year affects the future.  That’s what we and our agency partners provide to people struggling to survive in San Luis Obispo County.  Your help is truly the gift of a better life.  To put it another way, your gift multiplies as it provides a new perspective, a new start, and a new future.

At the Food Bank we like to imagine. We imagine what a child will be like 20 years from now because he or she had access to nutritious food.  That’s not hard to imagine. The founder of Facebook was just a child 20 years ago. What a difference this young man’s imagination has made in the world. Not every child will invent new software and run a huge company, but is it any less significant to be a loving parent, to encourage creative and productive work skills, or to nurture a family both emotionally and physically? Your legacy is guaranteed due to the number of meals we can serve, with kindness, on your behalf as you help us fight hunger.

Our friend, Mr. Alan Feinstein, had the imagination to see how his investment in the future could grow through the productive lives of the people he helped. In fact, he’s matching a portion of his wealth to your support with his own gift of $1 million to Food Banks across the country.  You can learn more about him at www.feinsteinfoundation.org. Although we cannot all be Alan Feinstein, your contribution is no less significant. You also touch the lives of thousands of children, families, homeless, or struggling people trying to get back on their feet with your own investment in their future.

We use what you give us to obtain fresh produce for those in need in our county.  Produce is often not accessible to them because it is expensive compared to less healthy foods.  We glean, rescue, and purchase local produce at cooperative rates from local farmers, and many donate produce to us on a regular basis.  In 2011, we distributed 2.6 million lbs. of produce to over 44,000 of your neighbors in need in SLOCounty.

Generosity is the imagination to see the good that begins with your gift.  The rest is as natural as the body receiving the benefit of a fresh apple or a florette of broccoli.  Please add your imagine to Mr. Feinstein’s through your investment in our future.

 

 

Collaboration with Public Health

Compared to large metropolitan areas, our Food Bank is considered small do to the size of our county. This results in many staff members wearing multiple hats, not allowing us to have paid staff in some of the positions that would provide professional expertise in areas of great need.  For example, we don’t have a nutritionist on staff to lead our nutrition outreach. This person would champion our effort not only to provide healthy food, but also administer a county-wide program on nutrition education that is tailored to the foods we distribute to them.

It’s one thing to provide healthy food, and another to educate and inspire people who may not have a palate or be familiar to food items that are good for them. That’s why we are so pleased to be collaborating with the Department of County Health. Through this partnership we will provide nutrition education through cooking demonstrations and tastings at our county-wide distribution sites.  The food utilized in these demonstrations will be paired monthly with what the Food Bank has available for distribution.

Public Health educators will be doing onsite education using the produce that is being distributed that day! Take broccoli for example.  While people are waiting in line, they will have an opportunity:

  • Share their personal experiences with broccoli
  • Learn about the nutritional benefits of broccoli,
  • Learn tips on buying and storing broccoli, and
  • Discuss ideas on how broccoli can be increased in meal planning on a regular basis.

This is a great example of how in our relatively small county, collaboration, can accomplish even greater things than we could independently.  It’s not a bad model for larger counties and the whole country. What do you think?