SLO Food Bank’s 13th Annual Hunger Awareness Day Raises Over $100,000 in Support of Food Insecurity in SLO County
San Luis Obispo, June 13, 2019 – On Friday, June 7th, 2019, the San Luis Obispo Food Bank Coalition successfully hosted its 13th annual Hunger Awareness Day event, bringing together the community to combat food insecurity in SLO County. The event aimed to raise awareness about the pressing issue of food insecurity and to collect funds to provide nutritious food to community members who face challenges in accessing proper nutrition.
Hunger Awareness Day received an overwhelming response from the people of SLO County, with numerous volunteers and generous support from various organizations. From 7 am to 7 pm on Friday, 40 collection sites were set up across the county, managed by 10 dedicated SLO Food Bank staff members, 14 agency partners, and 16 volunteer groups, including Kiwanis, Rotary Club, local businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, and compassionate individuals like Floyd Butterfield, the founder of Hunger Awareness Day. A remarkable total of 450 volunteers, including city officials from every community, passionately contributed their time and efforts to ensure the event’s success.
The downtown San Luis Obispo collection site witnessed an exhilarating atmosphere as the Wild 106.1 radio station played music, encouraging donors to join the cause. Volunteers stood with signs like “Be a Hunger Hero” and “Feed SLO County,” motivating passing vehicles to contribute to the initiative.
Jo Jo Lopez from Wild 106 shared the radio station’s involvement, stating, “We’re a radio station in San Luis Obispo. It’s really our duty to do stuff like this, to use the power that we have with a lot of people listening to do some good for the community.” The collaboration between media and the community proved to be inspiring and impactful.
BHE Renewables, a longstanding sponsor of the SLO Food Bank, continued its support by donating $2,500 towards Hunger Awareness Day.
Paulette Rush, Community Relations Manager at BHE Renewables, praised the event, saying, “I think it’s incredible. There’s so many people out there hungry and this is a way for everyone to get together when you’re out here and you’ve got the signs. Sometimes people know there’s an issue with people needing food, but it’s kind of in the back of their heads. This puts everything right in front of their face and people will drop money in there when before they never would have thought about helping out.”
Young members of the community also took an active role in supporting the cause. Reese Swanson, a first-year Recreation Parks and Tourism major at Cal Poly and member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, shared that over 30 fraternity members volunteered to help, displaying their dedication by dressing in a SLO Food Bank sandwich costume and collecting donations.
The impact of the community’s collective effort was remarkable, and the event had raised more than $100,000 for hunger relief.