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SLO Food Bank

Let's feed SLO County. Together.

aka SLO Food Bank   |   San Luis Obispo, CA   |  www.slofoodbank.org

Mission

Our mission is to work with a network of community partners to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County and build a healthier community.

Ruling year info

1988

Chief Executive Officer

Molly Kern

Main address

1180 Kendall Road

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 USA

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Formerly known as

FOOD BANK COALITION OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

EIN

77-0210727

NTEE code info

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Community Coalitions (S21)

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Food Rescue

San Luis Obispo County is a region of agricultural abundance, yet not everyone has consistent access to fresh fruits and vegetables. On top of that, plenty of perfectly edible, safe, and nutritious food is discarded at various points in the food chain each day. In an attempt to make use of what would otherwise be thrown out as trash, the SLO Food Bank manages two food rescue programs: GleanSLO, a fresh produce rescue program working with local farms and home gardeners, as well as a Grocery Rescue Program, connecting charitable agencies with near-date food from grocery chains and local markets.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Provide guidance and source free and low-cost nutritious food to over 70 other nonprofit agencies in San Luis Obispo County that serve low-income persons with food in various methods, from shelters, kitchens, food pantries, and other assistance programs. For more details about these partners' hunger relief programs, visit FindFoodSLO.org, or visit the Food Resource Locator on slofoodbank.org.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Homeless people

The SLO Food Banks Summer Breakfast Bags are backpacks containing three weeks' worth of nutritious shelf-stable breakfast meals and healthy snacks distributed to children and families in need across SLO County during the summer months. They also include bilingual nutritional handouts, recipes, cooking recommendations, fun activities, and healthy eating practices (summer-only program).

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The SLO Food Bank Nutrition Education Program aims to improve the wellness of neighbors in need by encouraging nutritious choices. They conduct outreach and education at program sites, schools and classrooms, and community events and disseminate materials, including healthy recipes for ingredients offered at SLO Food Bank Neighborhood Food Distributions.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

The SLO Food Banks Children's Farmers' Markets program provides fresh produce and nutrition education to children in afterschool and summer childcare programs. Kids use 'Food Bank Banks' to 'shop' at a simulated farmers' market, taking home seasonal produce to share with their families.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The SLO Food Banks No-Cook Bags are packages of food curated to meet the unique dietary needs and lifestyles of people experiencing homelessness. They contain three meals and a couple of snacks comprised of food that is nutritious and does not require heat or appliances to prepare, including shelf-stable tuna or chicken salad kits, applesauce, yogurt, dried fruits, cereal bars, and more.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

This program is designed to serve seniors who live at home and cook for themselves, but may not have reliable transportation, or the income to purchase fresh produce. Sites are located in low-income senior apartment complexes or mobile home parks that provide a community space for residents to gather. The Food Bank provides 6-8 types of produce each month, which is displayed farmers' market style, and residents are encouraged to take what they need.

Population(s) Served
Seniors

Neighborhood Food Distributions offer pre-packaged units of fresh produce, shelf-stable food, meat, and more, depending on availability, for free to income-eligible recipients in every community countywide. For more details about these sites, visit FindFoodSLO.org, or visit the Food Resource Locator on slofoodbank.org.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The SLO Food Banks CalFresh Outreach program is committed to ensuring that all eligible individuals are informed about and have access to the critical benefits of CalFresh. CalFresh (formerly known as food stamps) is a federally-funded nutrition assistance program that allows participants to buy food using an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card at grocery stores, neighborhood stores, and farmer's markets. CalFresh dollars help stretch a tight food budget and allow participants to incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, beans, whole grains, and dairy products into their diets.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Homeless people

The Senior Home Delivery Program delivers groceries on a weekly basis directly to the homes of low-income older adults who are homebound due to medical barriers. This program is administered in partnership with Ride-On Transportation and Wilshire Community Services.

Population(s) Served
Seniors

Where we work

Awards

Top Rated Nonprofit 2020

GreatNonprofits

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County has served the County for over a quarter century, ensuring that no one in our county need go without access to healthy food. Our ultimate goal over the next three to five years is to reduce hunger in San Luis Obispo County while building a healthier community. The focus of our work is on all low-income populations and communities, from working families to seniors and disabled individuals to children in school. We continually reassess the impact of our programs to best meet residents' needs.

At the same time, the Food Bank Coalition has taken a leadership role in collaborative efforts to improve health while fighting hunger. Our Executive Director participates in several local coalitions and organizations whose efforts are aimed at reducing hunger and increasing self-sufficiency. Staff also work with groups whose goal is to improve healthy eating and access to healthy food, and the Food Bank is proud to be distributing 50% fresh fruits and vegetables at its sites throughout the county.

Our Mission Statement, updated by the Board in January of 2013, reflects these efforts: “To work with a network of community partners to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County and build a healthier community." As a larger non-profit providing services in every community in the County and partnering with over 75 agencies to distribute food, we are uniquely positioned to spearhead collaboration around hunger reduction and improving health. We distribute over 6 million pounds of food annually through 75 direct distributions and through our agency partners for their pantries and distributions. Approximately 45,000 low-income people access Food Bank Coalition resources each year, one in six county residents.

1) We meet short-term hunger needs by providing healthy food in distributions throughout the county.
Our programs that address this strategy are: Emergency Food Assistance Program, No-Cook Bag Programs tailored to provide nutrition to those experiencing homelessness, and Senior Home Delivery Program which delivers fresh produce, shelf-stable goods, and protein to the homes of low-income seniors. Fresh produce for all programs is donated by local farmers, gleaned by volunteers, and purchased through the California Food Bank's Farm to Family program. Our GleanSLO program connects volunteers with farmers and landowners to harvest extra produce for distributions. We also provide nutrition education at distribution sites, including cooking demonstrations, to help recipients use the fresh produce they receive.

2) We build long-term solutions that reduce hunger and improve health for County residents. We conduct CalFresh (SNAP food stamp) outreach at distributions to ensure that people can access food benefits. We also advocate with County Supervisors to increase access to CalFresh by reducing barriers and we work with County Department of Social Services staff to streamline the CalFresh enrollment process. In addition, our staff work to educate the public and our elected officials about how we can reduce hunger.

Over the past four years we have implemented two large USDA grants to address local hunger issues. The initial grant, a Hunger-Free Communities planning grant, provided the foundation for the Food Bank to survey local residents' food needs, form the SLO County Food System Coalition (a network of partner organizations) and develop a Hunger-Free Community plan. This plan, Paradox of Plenty: A Community Roadmap for Overcoming Hunger in San Luis Obispo County, was presented to the County Board of Supervisors in October 2012 and is being implemented by the SLO County Food System Coalition.

The second grant, a Community Food Project grant, is allowing us to expand our gleaning program, GleanSLO, which has rescued over 360,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and engaged over 1,000 community volunteers. The Community Food Project also includes an administrator to guide the SLO County Food System Coalition, Farm to School activities, and community workshops on gardening and food preservation. Through this and our other work, we are deepening our connections with those who are working to increase healthy food consumption in our community.

As the hub of food distribution in the county and a trusted resource for low-income residents, the Food Bank is uniquely situated to assist those in need.

Perhaps the most significant piece of the Food Bank's capacity to build long-term solutions is our ability to form new and innovative collaborative relationships with other low-income resource providers, food system-related organizations, and our agency partners to bring vital services directly to our clients. And the Food Bank is a key partner and founder of the SLO County Food System Coalition and a partner in the HEAL-SLO (Healthy Eating Active Living) collaborative.

We have extensive partnerships with County departments, California Polytechnic State University, faith-based organizations, non-profits, and the 75 community-based organizations that form our coalition of food providers. Our new USDA Community Food Project grant also includes a wide range of collaborators, many of whom we work with through the Food System Coalition, including UC Cooperative Extension, local school districts, Central Coast Grown, Salvation Army, and CAP-SLO.

We undergo both a federal audit and a regular audit by a local firm (Glenn Burdette Associates) that specializes in non-profit clients. All Food Bank operations are monitored annually by Feeding America. USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) audits us through the California Department of Social Services. Our CalFresh Outreach is audited annually by the California Association of Food Banks.

Individual Food Bank staff members collect and exchange information with colleagues at larger Food Banks throughout the State. The result of this is that the staff of the Food Bank has an extensive storehouse of knowledge and experience, both theoretical and practical, to call upon in the performance and fulfillment of service issues in its programs and operations to supply food free to low-income residents and free or low-cost to county agencies. Our fourteen-member Board of Directors consists not only of those who bring non-profit board experience, but also grassroots level experience in our programs.

Our short-term goal is to continue to provide hunger relief for those in need. We are very proud that we have been able to address the rapidly rising level of food insecurity, providing food for 90% more recipients. We have also taken steps to increase the percentage of high-quality fresh produce and eliminate sugary and over-processed foods in our distributions. The low-income population that we serve is especially susceptible to the consumption of inexpensive but less nutritious food. It is well known that some of the most tragic and costly diseases are preventable through healthier eating. A Nutrition Policy was adopted in 2013 to guide our purchasing and donations toward food that is low in sugar, saturated fats, and sodium and high in whole grains, protein, and fresh vegetables.

We have been increasing the percentage of fresh fruit and vegetables in our food provisions and are now up to 50%. We have developed new sources for produce, including local gleaning and farmer donations, to ensure that the produce received by families is as fresh and enticing as possible. GleanSLO has expanded from a volunteer program in 2010 to one with a full-time program manager and assistant, online registration system, 90 farmer participants, 1,000 volunteer gleaners, & produce collection at two large Farmers' Markets.

Perhaps most importantly in the long run, we have taken the lead in initiatives that work to increase the overall health of our low-income residents and our food system. This has strengthened our relationships with many sectors and allowed us to work collaboratively on reducing hunger, greatly expanding our capacity to do research, educate the public, plan strategically, and implement services. Examples of this include the formation of the Food System Coalition, the development of GleanSLO, Cal Poly research to identify hunger issues and securing the highly-competitive USDA Community Food Project grant to channel more resources to our low-income communities.

Because the greatest untapped food resources are federal funding in the form of food stamps (CalFresh), we have worked to increase access to this resource. We have added a CalFresh Outreach Coordinator to enroll eligible residents. CalFresh enrollments supplied a supplemental food income of $1,800,000 for 500 low-income families.

Financials

SLO Food Bank
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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SLO Food Bank

Board of directors
as of 02/12/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ryan Caldwell

Wacker Wealth Partners

Term: 2025 - 2023


Board co-chair

Kim Bisheff

Cal Poly Journalism

Term: 2023 - 2025

Jared Salter

Attorney

Mike Quamma

Finance

Andrea Chavez

Agriculture

Bob Aiken

Nonprofit Leadership

Ellen Cohune

Development

Erik Justesen

Business Owner

Josh Cross

Nonprofit Leadership

Morgan Dewar Voss

Energy

Kim Bisheff

Education

Bryan Idler

Retail Business

Matt Allen

Banking

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data