Outreach & Education

Good Nutrition Starts with Education

The SLO Food Bank empowers people to make healthy choices in their everyday lives through outreach and education. ​The Food Bank team travels to distribution sites and agency sites throughout SLO County to provide free educational resources. Classes and activities are structured in a way that complements each distribution site’s unique community culture. Everyone is welcome!

What We Do

The SLO Food Bank helps the community find creative ways to prepare the foods we distribute and works to empower community members to make healthy dietary choices. We understand the barriers to engaging in healthy behaviors, including various social determinants. By providing access to fresh produce and nutritious food options at each distribution site, we help build a healthier, hunger-free community. The Nutrition Education Program supplements food assistance with nutrition education through recipes, presentations, cooking classes, handouts and various other resources. We also partner with schools and child-care programs to provide fresh produce, as well as nutritional education, to youth throughout the county.

Children’s Farmers Markets

This program creates a Farmers Market environment for kids, allowing them to select from a variety of fruits and vegetables to take home to share with their families. Children are given “Food Bank Bucks” to simulate a shopping experience. Participants take home 10 to 15 pounds of fresh, seasonal produce items, such as potatoes, apples, oranges, cabbage, squash, pears and lettuce. This produce is either harvested locally through our GleanSLO program or sourced from the California Association of Food Banks. We hold 19 to 22 Children’s Farmers Markets that serve more than 1,100 children and their families each month, helping to grow a foundation for healthy eating.

Adult Education Outreach

​​Through community outreach, our programs aim to:

  • Empower community members to engage in healthier behaviors, leading to more overall positive health outcomes in order to improve their physical, social and emotional well-being.
  • To increase the availability and consumption of local produce, whole grains and other nutrient-dense foods.
  • To improve community members’ contextual skills in the kitchen, therefore increasing the likelihood of preparing more meals in the home using fresh produce and nutritious ingredients.

Become An Outreach Volunteer

Volunteers are needed for Children’s Farmers Markets and Adult Education Programs. To learn more about volunteer opportunities within Community Outreach and Nutrition Education, please contact Melissa Danehey via e-mail at mdanehey@slofoodbank.org. Read more about all volunteer opportunities.