December 2023

The year 2023 saw lots of positive changes for the food bank as we increased our partnerships and service to our community.  The opening of our new dedicated food bank facility in April was a milestone in the food bank’s 29 years of providing food for those in need in East Santa Cruz County.

Due to very generous donations, we were able to increase the quality and variety of the food we distributed to our clients each month, adding eggs, tortillas and hotdogs.  We plan in the near future to add shelf-stable milk and other high-protein sources of nutrition.

With the opening of our new food bank, we saw an increase in volunteers as well as clients from the community.  As we worked our way through new procedures, our efforts gained efficiency and we were able to meet the need for additional food bags.

We will continue to tweak our operations and partnerships to ensure we put forth our best efforts for our clients and the community.

On December 9th our volunteers delivered 105 supplemental food bags including a four-pound frozen holiday ham and eggs and tortillas.  All told, we distributed 175 four-pound hams to our clients and partner agencies for the holidays.

Our Monday veggie distribution produce supply has been spotty, with less than stellar quality.  Our volunteers have persevered, however, and combed through the available produce to provide our community with the best available.  Community response to our veggie distributions has been very good this season, with big crowds every week.  We are looking forward to increased supply of better quality as the harvest matures.

On December 18, Food Bank board members met with the president of the Trail Riders of Southern Arizona, George Wysopal, and member John Bingham, and received a check for $3,000.  This donation was generated by their ride event “There Will Be Dust” in Patagonia on November 18.  The TRSA is a long-time big supporter of the Food Bank.

We are working hard to apply for a number of community grants to help us purchase additional equipment and food for the upcoming spring and summer season.  Although food prices have leveled off somewhat, we are seeing increased demand for food and our costs are well above prior years.  Our later winter priority will be to integrate this new equipment into our routine to further increase our efficiency.

As we head into a new year, I want to convey my gratitude to our hard-working volunteers and all those in the community that that support us with good wishes and donations.  Truly, we could not fulfill our dream of No One Goes Hungry In East Santa Cruz County without your love and support.