Supplying Food for Our Neighbors in Need Requires the Help of Many Hands

By Jeannie Howard

The Food Bank of Contra Costa welcomes volunteers as well as food donations. Individuals and groups, such as these volunteers from Pacific Services Credit Union, can find available times through the Food Bank’s website. (Photo Credit: The Food Bank of Contra Costa)

For more than forty years the Food Bank of Contra Costa has been dedicated to feeding those in need. Since its humble beginnings, the Food Bank has grown by leaps and bounds distributing more than twenty million pounds of food each year to nearly two million people throughout Contra Costa and Solano counties. With a mission of ending hunger, relationships with community partners are essential. “We have more than 180 partner agencies we work with and distribute food through,” said Lisa Sherrill, communications director for the Food Bank of Contra Costa. “Our partner agencies are most often food pantries or soup kitchens, and we also work with schools, churches, residential centers—places serving people in need.”

It is through the relationships with other service agencies throughout Contra Costa and Solano counties, the unfaltering work of 72 staff members, and countless volunteers that the Food Bank is able to efficiently move food from their two warehouses, one in Fairfield and another in Concord, to our neighbors in need.

To help maintain a continuous flow of food, both perishable and non-perishable, the Food Bank acquires food from several sources—not just through donations from individuals. “We actually do pick-ups at several of the major grocery chains and we work with our partner agencies to do that,” explained Sherrill. “The stores usually donate food that is about to expire and we are able to pick it up and distribute it.”

Additionally, the Food Bank also procures food through the California Association of Food Banks, a state-wide membership organization made up of 41 food banks from throughout California. “We re