Photo courtesy of John Chadwell

1. Neighbors Helping Neighbors
That’s not just our motto, that’s how we keep our doors open! Every day neighbors stop by with food donations, or call in to schedule volunteer projects, or send donation checks in the mail. The community response to the flooding on Lover’s Lane shows a real life example of neighbors helping neighbors, and FoodBank loves being a part of that.

2. Abundance Shared
We provided our community over 1,000,000 pounds of food in 2016, 95% would have eventually ended up in dumpsters. By sharing their abundance, local grocers provide healthy breads and delicious pastries for neighbors who otherwise would not have the funds to purchase expensive whole grain breads and even birthday cakes. Local growers, from family gardens to commercial farms, provide an abundance of fresh produce, much of it organic, literally grown right here in our backyard. Local businesses offer free or significantly reduced products and services to keep our warehouse and office running. And people blessed with financial abundance donated thousands of dollars to our programs every year.

3. Healthy Life Choices 
Whether it’s eating healthy, exercising, taking time to rest and meditate, or breaking destructive habits, we love seeing people taking a stand for their own physical and mental health, and for the health of others. In this busy daily life, it can be a challenge to take good care of ourselves. Making healthy choices, whether life-changing transformations or small steps each day, takes courage and perseverance, and we applaud and support you!

4. Recycling & Reusing
It is a staggering thought that almost all of the food that we give out would have eventually ended up in a dumpster, but that is the truth. Grocers and growers have surplus – that’s where FoodBank comes in. Food Banks are the ultimate recyclers! From produce to bread, from peanut butter to eggs, from plastic bottles to cardboard, we recycle everything we can. And the food we can’t, we leave out for local pig farmers to gather a feast for their animals. But we can’t do it alone. We are so grateful to all the local stores and growers who send us their abundance.
 

Maria Lynn Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of Community Food Bank of San Benito County.

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