On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, members from the Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations (RCONA) were provided a tour of the Placer Food Bank hosted by Food Bank officials Troy Kuhn, Alan Osterstock, and Mary Towne. This visit was part of RCONA President Werner Kuehn’s vision to partner with various Roseville agencies to expand RCONA’s benefits to the Roseville community. Other RCONA Board members attending the tour were Sue Hallahan-Cook, Lori Ennis, and David Larson, along with Jamie Carlson of the City of Rosevile’s Public Affairs and Communications Department.
Our visiting team was provided great background about the extent of the area the Food Bank covers through Placer, El Dorado, and Nevada Counties. Last year, the Food Bank supplied approximately 5.7 million pounds of food among 40 to 50 local certified non-profit agencies; those agencies then serve an average 48,000 qualified individuals a month. Placer Food Bank is a fully accredited member of the national Feeding America Program, and must meet all the necessary criteria required.
One thing that impressed our tour team was how well their system works to stretch their resources. While they do receive food donations through various individuals and corporate sponsors like Wal-Mart and local farm groups, and grants. They really make the most of cash donations received -- each $1 cash donation can buy $10 worth of food, plus they can take advantage to partner with groups at special rates, such as the Blue Oaks Neighborhood Association which contributed hundreds of turkeys this past holiday season for $5 each.
Our group was taken through the facility to see samples of boxes packed and ready for pick-up or delivery to various local agencies. The Food Bank operates with a small full-time staff, and greatly appreciates its volunteer staff who help with receiving, sorting, packing and loading this incredible amount of food. One program the Food Bank is especially proud to participate in is the Backpack Program, which works with schools to provide qualified children with food for weekends.
RCONA members were very impressed with the Food Bank operations, and discussed various ways we might partner with the Food Bank in the future -- spread the word within our neighborhoods for those who wish to help as volunteers at the warehouse and events, donation sources, ‘backyard gleaning’ (individual food donations,) and future Community Garden efforts RCONA has been working toward, perhaps even recycling as compost.
If you can offer services or donations, or know of those in need of Food Bank services, you may contact them at (916) 783-0481 during regular business hours 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (see their website at Placer Food Bank.org.)