Food bank expands its outreach

Food bank officials and supporters break ground on a new building. Courtesy photo

In a simple groundbreaking ceremony in Cameron Park earlier this month, El Dorado County’s largest collaborative charity turned the first spades of dirt in a community enhancement project that will provide services to at-risk populations throughout the county.

The new Food Bank of El Dorado County 20,000-square-foot community facility slated to open in December 2013 will be designed by architect John Kristedja and constructed by local contractor DG Granade. The building will help the food bank reach its goal in 2014 of providing $3 million worth of food assistance to communities throughout El Dorado County. The facility will also serve as the home base for the food bank’s new mobile food pantry and provide weekly support to 30 charities countywide. This emergency food assistance network will greatly benefit from the new building.

The Food Bank of El Dorado County assists local charities and provides emergency food assistance to an estimated 8,000 individuals a month from Georgetown to Somerset to South Lake Tahoe to El Dorado Hills.

“This building is simply a product of commitment, sacrifice and dedication of thousands of caring community members over the last decade,” said Mike Sproull, food bank founder. “The food bank truly belongs to the community it serves.”

This event comes on the heels of another food bank first — a mobile food truck.

Hoping to reach even more people, and especially seniors, this spring the Food Bank of El Dorado County launched a new mobile food truck program that delivers groceries to those most in need.

The mobile food truck has made stops in El Dorado Hills, South Lake Tahoe and Pollock Pines with people learning about it through the food bank’s more than 30 partner charities.

Sproull said they have seen a 25 to 30 percent increase in the number of people requesting food assistance.

“A lot of families and a ton of senior citizens live on under $1,200 a month,” he said. “Seniors are caught in a real bind because they don’t have a lot of options. As the economy has faltered, some people have been able to cut back. But many people have no room to cut back.”

Hoping to give their new program a higher profile as they roll it out, Sproull said they will be at the upcoming Summer Spectacular in Cameron Park and will also respond to some emergencies until the Red Cross arrives. “It’s a tool for the community in that way too,” he said, noting that he was looking for groups and businesses that want to sponsor the mobile pantry as well as staff it.

Able to provide a five-to-one return for the donor’s dollar, the Food Bank of El Dorado County is one of the county’s most efficient and effective charities. Volunteers and community support are the main reasons for its success.

For more information call (530) 621-9950, visit foodbankedc.org or e-mail [email protected]

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Posted by on Jun 20 2013.
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