January 2024

Dear Friends and Supporters,

January usually results in a bit of a lull at the food bank however this January had some unusual challenges as well as solid accomplishments.

At our regular Second Saturday of the month, January 13, supplemental food distribution our volunteers delivered 89 food bags/boxes which included for the first time, boxed, non-perishable milk along with our usual selection of canned and dry goods and tortillas, eggs and hot dogs.  The addition of milk to our distribution is a trial addition as we seek to add more and varied nutritious food to our food bags.

In addition, we are experimenting with repurposing the cardboard boxes that our food is delivered to the food bank in to minimize our need for the double grocery bags we have traditionally used for distribution.   Nearly every other food bank in the area uses new corrugated boxes to distribute food; however, boxes are much more expensive than bags and we have a supply of used boxes at our disposal.

We also have joined the Town of Patagonia’s brand-new Recycling Program and we now recycle everything we generate that they will accept.

On January 8, just prior to our food distribution, we received a shipment of 1500 imprinted Bic pens, the fruits of a $500 grant that the food bank received from a company called 4Imprint, where we purchase Tee shirts.  We included the pens in our distribution bags with the hopes of raising our visibility further within the community.  The supply of pens should last nearly a year.

At our weekly vegetable distributions, January 15th and 22nd there was not much vegetable harvest available to distribute.  After being off for three Mondays because of holidays, we were hoping for a plentiful supply of good veggies, however the cold snap that hit our area in late December/early January with sub-20-degree temperatures, also froze crops deep into Sonora and Sinaloa in Mexico.  Most of the warm-weather crops were lost and there were very few other crops to take up the slack.

We were able to glean enough for our distribution but we are hoping for a much better harvest of warm-weather crops in the near future.

As our grant from South32 for food bank fixtures comes to a close we find there are a few large items we are still lacking, however, by and large, we are fully outfitted to achieve our mission of feeding people in East Santa Cruz County.

We are so grateful for the community support that makes this possible.