Become an Agency Partner

Working Together to Strengthen Our Community

The SLO Food Bank works with around 100 nonprofit and municipal organizations located throughout the county. These include church pantries, free meal sites, after-school programs, homeless shelters, recovery homes, women’s shelters, and more.

You can think of our warehouse as a hunger-relief hub that distributes fresh produce, bread, canned goods, dairy, eggs, and meat to our Agency Partners, who then open their doors and offer free food to people experiencing food insecurity from San Miguel to Nipomo.

Our mutual objective is simple: to get food to those who need it, when they need it.

If you are part of a nonprofit organization that operates within San Luis Obispo County, and are interested in learning more about gaining access to the SLO Food Bank’s resources, check out the information below.

Are you an existing Agency Partner?


By joining the SLO Food Bank’s network of nonprofit agency partners, your food program and your recipients will benefit by having access to the following:

  • Ability to source food at no or low cost
  • Joint-fundraising opportunities to earn food credit at our warehouse
  • Automatic and free registration with SLO County Environmental Health Services for most partners (as required in the state of California for all charitable organizations serving food)
  • Discounted ServSafe® Food Handler Cards and Food Protection Manager certifications
  • Ongoing and free program design support and consultation
  • Grant-funded programs, specialty foods, and infrastructure
  • Use of our conference room for organization meetings
  • Nutrition education and cooking classes at your location
  • Program and organization promotion through our media partners

Agency Partner Eligibility

To be a SLO Food Bank agency partner, all organizations must meet the following requirements:​

  • Serve primarily low-income families and individuals, the elderly, and/or infants
  • Maintain tax-exempt Public Charity status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
  • Operate a program that incorporates food assistance as a part of its intended scope of services
  • Maintain regularly scheduled or predictable hours or outreach calendar
  • Maintain service location(s) within San Luis Obispo County boundaries
  • Must distribute food for free within San Luis Obispo County to qualified individuals
  • Adhere to all applicable Federal, State, and local regulations and statutes relating to the receiving, storing, shipping, processing, and handling of food products
  • Agree to the following ongoing requirements:
    1. Submission of quarterly reports on the number and age demographics of patrons
    2. Maintain active ANSI-accredited food safety trainings for relevant staff and volunteers
    3. Undergo biennial and/or as-needed site visits to verify that equitable service and food safety standards are met

Getting Started

Please follow the steps outlined below to start the process of becoming an Agency Partner.

1. Complete and sign a copy of the SLO Food Bank’s Application for Partnership
2. Compile the necessary paperwork:

  • Copy of 501(c)(3) determination letter with tax ID #/EIN
  • Copy of appropriate ServSafe food safety certifications (Food Handler’s Card for most sites; Food Protection Manager for full meal sites)
  • Copy of SLO County Food Facility Permit (only required for full meal sites)
  • Program informational documents or brochures

3. Send this information to Suzie Freeman, Partner Services Manager

  • Email: Suzie Freeman
  • Fax: (805) 238-6956, ATTN: Partner Services
  • Mail: SLO Food Bank, ATTN: Partner Services, 1180 Kendall Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Your application will be reviewed and you will be contacted shortly. If your program meets the general Agency Partner qualifications, a pre-operational site visit will be scheduled to learn more about your program, review your site’s operations, and, with a successful site visit, complete the application process.

For a full list of items that may be reviewed during the site visit, please see the Self-Assessment Checklist.