● By Super Admin
Photo by Dante Fontana.
The devastating effects of the current economy – a series of life-changing losses followed by heartbreaking consequences – have reshaped the common perception of who we associate with needing charitable assistance. In fact, the line between who does and does not need and/or ask for help these days is as thin as it has been since the Great Depression, precipitating the need for an increase of and access to local resources, support, advocacy and facilitation.
On the food front, Placer Food Bank (PFB), a Roseville-based non-profit organization and member of Feeding America, is heading the fight against hunger – a war it has waged in and for South Placer County residents since 1985. With a daily effort to “nourish the community,” and an overall mission to feed the hungry by acquiring donations and purchasing food, PFB has taken on an enormous and growing responsibility. As such, it partners with a variety of local businesses, including Raley’s and Bel-Air, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Whole Foods, and 55 service-based agencies such as the Salvation Army.
Hunger is far-reaching, but in South Placer County, still largely a hidden problem; in part because of the high quality of life that area residents enjoy. According to Dave Martinez, executive director of PFB, “The face of hunger has definitely changed. Most people who we see are recently unemployed individuals who have worked all their lives. A majority are on the verge of losing their homes or are barely getting by.” A by-product of this cultural shift is a crucial key to the success of any nonprofit – awareness. Martinez says that as the word has spread about PFB, the community has responded with much-needed financial and food donations.
Response at a local level, which is crucial to both PFB’s short- and long-term success, comes as good news because of the decrease in retail donations. “As donations from retail dwindle, the Food Bank has had to purchase low-cost food in order to maintain current demand,” says Martinez, who further explains that the huge inflow the organization enjoyed this past holiday season quickly disappeared, with most stocks completely depleted by January.
In addition to receiving donations from the aforementioned parties, PFB holds fundraisers, offers event sponsorships, and accepts vehicle donations and food through its Virtual Food Drive – a progressive program that allows individuals and businesses to make online purchases, thereby eliminating the need for barrel or receptacle collection; PFB handles all ordering and food acquisition. The nonprofit places no restrictions on the amount of perishable and non-perishable items that can be donated. Items that need repackaging, however, are not accepted.
Recipients of PFB receive donations through its agency network or direct distribution program, which also serves and supports the USDA’s Senior Brown Bag and BackPack programs, Food for Charities, and the Baby Bank Co-op. PFB also partners with local nonprofit, the Gathering Inn, in support of its For Goodness Sake program.
To learn more about PFB, or to make a donation, visit placerfoodbank.org, or call 916-783-0481.