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

Serving Sonoma County since 1987, the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) has grown to serve every area of the county: from Petaluma to Cloverdale, Sonoma Valley to Occidental, and everywhere in between. We have developed three major hunger initiatives to provide low-income children, seniors and families their most basic necessity – nutritious food.

Every Child, Every Day
The REFB ensures that at-risk children get a healthy start in life through supplemental nutrition programs that address the special developmental needs of preschoolers. Once children enter school, the REFB offers programs to fill the gaps in school-based nutrition services by providing healthy suppers and snacks in after-school settings, nutritious groceries to take home over the weekend and hearty meals during the summer recess.

Senior Security
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.

Neighborhood Hunger Network
The REFB operates a county-wide pantry and emergency food system with over 200 distributions each month, providing staple groceries and healthy produce to anyone in need of help. We also are a major source of food for a network of 178 other hunger-relief organizations that include pantries, dining rooms, kitchens and shelters. In addition, we provide food to Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties through smaller food banks and charitable organizations.

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

  • Is in the top 6% of food banks nationwide in amount of food provided per person in poverty.
  • Served 82,000 of our low-income neighbors each month (1 in 6 people in Sonoma County).
  • Brought more than $22 million worth of food into the county from local, regional and national sources.
  • Distributed 14.5 million pounds of food, which is the equivalent of over 33,000 meals a day.
  • Provided food for two wholesome meals for every $1 spent.
  • Served nearly 400,000 prepared meals to children afterschool and during the summer.
  • Enlisted 4,200 volunteers who donated over 80,000 hours - the equivalent of 40 employees.

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

  • 36,200 are children
  • 11,800 are seniors
  • 13,500 are working families

To learn more about the REFB's three Hunger Initiatives and partnership with 175 charitable organizations click here.

REFB Fact Sheet - pdf icon REFB Fact Sheet for 2014

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.