Meet Joe from Paso Robles

Have you ever wondered what happens to your donations?
Or where we bring all those boxes you fill in our warehouse?

I’m sure you know that it provides urgently needed help to everyone at risk of food insecurity, but you are probably not aware of how much your support improves the lives of so many people in our community.

We want to change that with our stories!

Meet Joe for example, a retired science teacher with a masters degree in geology who has lived and worked in California for more than 20 years. If you ever find yourself volunteering at one of our food distributions in Paso Robles, he will greet you with curious eyes and engage you in a conversation about the fruits and vegetables on the table.

For the past three years, Joe has been relying on food from the Food Bank to fill his fridge. “Getting this support makes a big difference”, he told us as he reached for a ripe, yellow grapefruit. “I had to retire because chemicals I worked with burned my throat, but I cannot live from the $1,400 pension I receive now.”

He also shared with us that he lost his wife to Alzheimer two months ago. Her retirement pay was so little, that they would shop at our markets together, but now he shows up alone. Imagine the heartbreak on top of the financial struggle! But you would never be able to tell when seeing his lighthearted demeanor and contagious smile.

Joe’s story is one of many stories that happen in cities and neighborhoods across SLO County every single day. They happen in secret, behind closed doors and drawn curtains. Hardships and financial difficulties can happen to anyone of us, at any time – to your neighbor, your co-worker, one of your friends, even you.

Your donation gives people like Joe the hope and help they need. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of our donors, we are able to provide a vital safety net for everyone who experiences tough times. Together, we continue to distribute nutritious food across SLO County so that everyone can eat healthy and continue their lives with a smile on their face – and we definitely wouldn’t want to miss seeing Joe’s smile!

Together, we build a healthier community!

– By Luise Gleason, Marketing & Communications Coordinator