In an effort to effectively reach people struggling with food insecurity in Sonoma County, the Redwood Empire Food Bank operates three strategic hunger initiatives - Every Child, Every Day, Senior Security, and Neighborhood Hunger Network.
Every Child, Every Day
Providing food security for all children
Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) provides low-income people of any age a monthly offering of government commodities supplemented by fresh produce, bread and donated groceries, at 26 distribution sites in Sonoma County.
Farm Fresh Pantries at key locations throughout Sonoma County provide produce to put every at-risk child and senior on the road to good health.
Farm to Family School Pantry Program: Open to all families with children enrolled at three of the highest need elementary schools in Santa Rosa - Monroe, Lincoln and Luther Burbank. Weekly distributions offering fresh produce and groceries are held at the end of the school day as parents pick up their children. Nutrition education is a key component of each distribution encouraging families to eat healthy foods especially fruits and vegetables.
The BackPack Project distributes a 7-10 pound bag of kid-friendly groceries to low-income children each Friday at the end of the school day to help their families through the weekend.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) for low-income children under 6 years of age, and low-income pregnant or breast feeding women, provides a 30 lb. box of nutritious staples each month.
The Every Child, Every Day Summer Hunger Initiative/ delivers garden based nutrition education, free hot and healthy meals and a variety of fun activities to children at 46 community based sites throughout Sonoma County every summer.
The Megan Furth Harvest Pantry provides fresh fruits and vegetables to families with children 0-5 years of age from a mobile pantry that travels to selected sites in 9 communities. Our goal is to prevent anemia and obesity in young children through nutrition education, physical activities and the distribution of iron-rich produce.
Snacks for Kids offers a nutritious snack five days a week to low-income children participating in an after-school activity and enrichment programs at 34 locations.
Value Market, at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, 3990 Brickway Ave, in Santa Rosa, offers families with Women, Infants and Children (WIC) vouchers a supportive, respectful and easy place to shop.
Many seniors in our community are living on fixed incomes that are not adequate to take care of their basic needs. The REFB's monthly grocery boxes, weekly produce pantries and special nutrition programs provide the nutritional stability seniors need to lead healthy and independent lives. As one senior explained, "All I really need is to know there will be something to eat in the cupboard when I open the door".
Senior Security features three programs that directly assist seniors and are strategically located throughout Sonoma County
The Brown Bag Program provides supplemental groceries and fresh produce once a month to low-income seniors at 16 locations in 6 towns and through home delivery.
Diabetes Wellness Project helps seniors on limited, fixed incomes that are diagnosed with diabetes have access to nutritious foods appropriate for a diabetic diet so that they can lead healthy and independent lives.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) offers a 30-40 lb. box of food once a month to low-income participants aged 60 and over. There are 47 distribution sites in 12 towns throughout Sonoma County as well as distributions in Lake, Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino County.
The U.S Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gen der identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Indepenedence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Si desea presentar una queja por discriminacion del programa de Derechos Civiles, complete el USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (formulario de quejas por discrimi naci6n del programa del USDA), que puede encontrar en internet en www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust, o en cualquier oficina del USDA, o Harne al (866) 632-9992 para solicitar el formulario. Tambien puede escribir una carta con toda Ia informacion solicitada en el formulario. Envienos su formulario de queja complete o carta por correo postal a U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, por fax al (2Q2) 690-7442 o por correo electronico a email@example.com.
Las personas sordas, con dificultades auditivas o con discapacidad del habla pueden contactar al USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service (Servicio federal de transmision) al (800) 877-8339 o (800) 845-6136 (en espaiiol).
Para obtener mas informacion acerca de cuestiones del programa SNAP, las personas deben contactar al numero de linea directa del USDA SNAP al (800) 221-5689, que tambien esta en espafiol, o Hamar a State Information/Hotline Numbers (de clic en el enlace para obtener un listado de numeros de linea directa por estado); lo puede encontrar en internet en www.fns.usda.gov/snap.
El USDA es un proveedor y empleador que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.
Neighborhood Hunger Network
The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) defines ending hunger as providing sufficient resources in all areas of the county for anyone seeking food assistance. We accomplish this through our own direct service food distributions as well as through our partnering agencies which create a network of pantries, kitchens, shelters, group homes, child care facilities and other programs in all areas of Sonoma County. The REFB is the hub of 149 Agencies with 229 programs located in every city, town and unincorporated area of Sonoma County. Agencies shop at the REFB to support their programs.
Starting a Food Pantry
Who can be a partner pantry?
Any 501(c)3 or faith-based organization can apply to be a food pantry. The partner pantry must agree to distribute food to low-income people, free of charge or donation.
How can my organization get started?
First, your organization needs to apply to be a member agency of the REFB. Download an agency application and other relevant materials, and please feel free to call the Redwood Empire Food Bank at, 707-523-7900, with any questions you may have. Ask for our Agency Relations Coordinator, Lina Hernandez, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does a food pantry work?
Organizations store and distribute food from a room or designated space, which serves as a mini grocery store. Clients visit the pantry during selected times and choose items that they need and/or are given pre-packed bags of staples.
Where does the food come from?
As a member agency, your organization can shop at the REFB's warehouse to access the food you need. This food is a combination of donations, local & national business offerings, food drives and purchases of sought-after food not normally available by other means.
How much food does a pantry typically give away?
The ideal weekly distribution is 20 pounds of food per household. If your organization can distribute more than 20 pounds per family, it is always appreciated.
How are pantries funded?
Pantries are primarily funded with donations from current supporters or their faith-based congregation.
What kind of space and equipment is needed?
You will need a permanent space to store food off the floor and from which to distribute food. The following items are also helpful: refrigerator and/or freezer, shelves, table, sign-in desk or card table, contact phone with message machine, handcart, box cutters, covered trash can, grocery bags, and pantry sign.
Who do we contact to submit an application, or if we have more questions?
Please feel free to call the Redwood Empire Food Bank at, 707-523-7900, with any questions you may have. Ask for our Agency Relations Coordinator, Lina Hernandez, or email, email@example.com.