California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) has chosen Community FoodBank to participate in their Rural and Remote Food Bank Capacity Building Initiative for 2018. The Initiative sprung from a 2017 needs assessment project conducted by University of California Nutrition Policy Institute, to understand the unique challenges of funding and operating a food bank in the rural and remote communities of California. The Initiative will focus on three key recommendations from the needs assessment report:
1) increasing leadership and board organizational capacity,
2) expanding fundraising efforts, and
3) improving infrastructure and operations in order to increase the amount of nutritious food distributed in rural communities.
Community FoodBank, at no charge, will receive individualized coaching and group trainings/webinars, qualified consulting to prioritize strategic goals and outline a plan to support those goals, and a travel stipend to give key staff the opportunity to visit other food banks and share best practices.
This couldn’t have come at a better time. With the finishing touches wrapping up on the building reimagination project, we have accomplished all the main objectives of our last strategic plan. We are ready to invest the time and effort into creating a vision for the new and exciting ways the food bank is going to serve the community and how we are going to get there. Some of the new projects at our doorstep are: expanding Board membership and diversity, reinventing our benefit thrift store “Pat’s Place” currently located at 6th and Sally streets, starting a mobile choice market, and sharing recipes and nutrition information in an innovative way.
We are so grateful for this unique and insightful program that invests in us “little guys” among California food banks an opportunity to planfully grow and prosper. We are excited for the initiative to get started!
Maria Lynn Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of Community Food Bank of San Benito County.