The Redwood Empire Food Bank has a new facility in Santa Rosa, and will celebrate with a grand opening event Saturday. Organizers say it will feed 78,000 people per year.
“This building is the product of several years of careful planning and a lengthy capital campaign that raised $9.7 million dollars from generous individuals, foundations, corporations, and other members of our community,” a press release quoted David Goodman, the food bank's executive director, as saying. “It provides us the physical space necessary to achieve our goal to deliver more high-quality food to the community more efficiently, and to engage the community more frequently and effectively as well.”
According to the press release, the food bank will deliver nearly 15 million pounds of food this year, and has opened two new Emergency Food Assistance Program sites and another Farm Fresh Pantry site.
The grand opening will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 3990 Brickway Boulevard in Santa Rosa.
The full press release follows:
The Redwood Empire Food Bank Celebrates Grand Opening of New State-of-the-Art Facility
Non-Profit Invites Community to Public Showcase on Saturday, September 28, 2013
Santa Rosa, CA (September 20, 2013) – The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) – Sonoma County’s leader in hunger relief – is thrilled to announce the Grand Opening Showcase Celebration of its new facility at 3990 Brickway Boulevard in Santa Rosa on Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm. The REFB invites the community to attend this public event in celebration of its modern, state-of-the-art building designed to meet the needs of the 78,000 hungry adults and children in Sonoma County and to end hunger in our community.
“Our Blueprint to End Hunger Campaign has culminated in a brick and mortar building that in only six months’ time has become the hub of food distribution for Sonoma County and beyond,” said REFB Executive Director David Goodman. “It is also an incubator of innovative programs that will not only help to end hunger in our community, but also bring health and wellness to the entire region.”
Enjoyable educational activities for all ages
The Grand Opening Showcase Celebration will feature live musical entertainment, a delicious taco bar provided by Mendoza Mexican Restaurant and homemade tamales prepared by one of the REFB’s agency partners, guided facility tours, and a referral table for individuals needing food assistance. In the newly completed Community Kitchen, attendees will be treated to recipe tastings from the REFB’s recently published Harvest Pantry Cookbook – a compilation of recipes from participants of our own Harvest Pantry program. The cookbook will be available for a minimum donation of $15; and for every cookbook purchased, one will be given to a Harvest Pantry participant for free.
Interactive program experiences include Zumba classes, nutrition education and a sample distribution from our Harvest Pantry; diabetes testing and health education from our Diabetes Wellness Project; a “build your own back pack” activity to highlight our Back Pack Program; the REFB’s Smoothie Bike – a bicycle-powered blender that encourages both healthy eating and exercise; and a “Kids Corral” with coloring stations, hula hoops and jump ropes. Those who want to volunteer can pack boxes for our senior programs or bag produce for our Farm to Family School Pantries.
New facility allows for program expansion and improvements
Since moving into the new building in April, the REFB has made the following programmatic enhancements:
- With four truck bays and more capacity to store dry and refrigerated items, the REFB is on track to deliver close to 15 million pounds of food to our community – more than one million more pounds than the previous year.
- With increased capacity at the new facility, the REFB has opened two new Emergency Food Assistance Program sites and one new Farm Fresh Pantry site, helping to serve 110 new households.
- The REFB has increased the total number of partner agencies utilizing our services to 175 and also increased the number of Spanish-language agencies we serve.
- A larger office with dedicated workspaces for interns and volunteers has allowed for the execution of more successful and efficient programs, as well as completion of special projects such as the Harvest Pantry Cookbook and a nutritional evaluation of the Agency Shopping Floor.
“This building is the product of several years of careful planning and a lengthy capital campaign that raised $9.7 million dollars from generous individuals, foundations, corporations, and other members of our community,” Goodman said. “It provides us the physical space necessary to achieve our goal to deliver more high-quality food to the community more efficiently, and to engage the community more frequently and effectively as well.”
Those planning on attending this celebration are encouraged to RSVP by visiting www.refb.org and clicking on the Grand Opening Celebration link.
About Redwood Empire Food Bank
The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Since 1987, the REFB has fed hungry people, currently serving 78,000 children, families and seniors each month in Sonoma County, while striving to end hunger in our community. The REFB collaborates with local and regional partners to obtain and distribute 13+ million pounds of food annually, the equivalent of 28,800 meals every day. It is also the primary resource for hunger relief agencies in Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Visit www.refb.orgor call 707-523-7900 to learn more.