Mission & Facts

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Mission Statement

To end hunger in our community. 

We define ending hunger as having in place a community response system that makes adequate nutrition assistance available and accessible to anyone in need of help.

Ending Hunger in our Community

The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California, from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Since 1987, the REFB has been helping our community through 15 innovative programs under three strategic initiatives – Every Child, Every Day; Senior Security; and the Neighborhood Hunger Network.

Every Child, Every Day
Under the Every Child, Every Day initiative, the REFB operates five programs specifically targeted to ending childhood hunger. Healthy food is strategically distributed at schools, parks, after school programs, and in low-income neighborhoods so that children have access to food year-round.

Senior Security
More than 16,000 seniors turn to the REFB for help in Sonoma County. With monthly food boxes, weekly produce pantries, and supplemental groceries, the REFB provides these seniors access to the nutritious food needed to lead healthy, independent lives.

Neighborhood Hunger Network
The REFB provides fresh produce and staple groceries to anyone in need of help. It is through our innovative direct service programs that we can ensure a county-wide emergency food system and strong safety net. We are also a major food source for 189 partner organizations which include pantries, dining rooms, and local shelters.

The REFB is a cost effective investment in the community. Last year the REFB:

  • Spent 96.9% of every dollar directly on programs.
  • Provided 2 meals in food to people facing hunger for every dollar donated.
  • Served 82,000 people struggling with hunger, including children, seniors, families and individuals in need.
  • Brought more than $25 million worth of food into the county from local, regional, and national sources.
  • Distributed over 15 million pounds of healthy food this year, half of which was fresh produce.
  • Provided the food equivalent of over 36,000 meals per day to our neighbors in need.
  • Distributed over 1,700 nutritious entrees each month prepared by our Kitchen Collective Program using donated food.
  • Served over 410,000 prepared meals to children after school and during the summer.
  • Operated more than 200 direct service distribution sites in Sonoma County to ensure ample access to food for our neighbors facing hunger.
  • Connected over 1,500 people with hunger-relief programs and helped hundreds of families with the application process for CalFresh, which increased food benefits locally by an average of $21,000 per month.
  • Provided an added layer of service and food security with 12,700 bags of groceries and program referrals through the Value Market.
  • Enlisted over 4,400 volunteers who donated over 80,000 hours – the equivalent of 40 full-time employees

82,000 people in Sonoma County face the threat of hunger every month:

To learn more about the REFB's three Hunger Initiatives and partnership with 189 charitable organizations click here.

REFB Fact Sheet - pdf icon REFB Fact Sheet for 2015

HUNGER to HOPE – A special 16-page promotional section presented by the Celebrate Community Partnership about the REFB - pdf icon Download HUNGER to HOPE

To learn more, click Hunger in Sonoma County / 2010.