Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mobile Pantry Christmas – The Celebration!


The spirit of goodwill this holiday season was shown on December 10 when the Food Bank distributed over 70 toys to the children of migrant farm workers. The toys were donated through the efforts of Triton Taylor’s Eagle Scout project “Tunes for Toys Concert” which was held in November. Rosa Avila, coordinator for the Mobile Pantry Program, and Ana Igareda, long time Clothes Closet volunteer, organized the event in Franklin. Point Pleasant Church, where the program is held each month, also donated blankets to all the families.


Some of the little ones were a bit overwhelmed with the activities and gifts.

After food boxes, clothing and Christmas presents were distributed, I noticed a father working with his little son, assembling a new toy. The little guy watched with eyes wide in anticipation and wonder as his Dad carefully worked. After a few minutes, his new toy was assembled and both father and son enjoyed their time together as they played.

We saw and felt the humble appreciation of our clients in Franklin. They showed us the caring they have for each other, by sharing the food, clothing and gifts they received. They knew the ones in their community who have the most need and shared what they could. It is always a privilege to serve these kind people in Franklin, we always leave with a full heart.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mobile Pantry Christmas – More Prep Work

Our busy and super organized volunteers have been at work again. The presents they matched to each young child served by the Mobile Pantry program got wrapped and grouped by family. Each family’s presents are in these bags.

Our thoughtful volunteers did not forget the parents in their mission to bring a Christmas celebration to our Franklin clients. The Clothes Closet added some clothing for the parents. Most parents requested socks and underwear.

These Christmas presents will be added to the regular monthly distribution of food and clothing to our clients in the rural Franklin area.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mobile Pantry Christmas

Busy volunteers matched presents to the requests of approximately 70 young children served by our Mobile Pantry program. The toys were donated through the efforts of Triton’s Eagle Scout project (see previous Tunes for Toys post).



These wonderful “elves” worked to match an appropriate toy to each child's age and gender.


The wrapped presents will be delivered with the monthly Mobile Pantry
delivery of food and clothing.

It is our hope to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to our clients in the Franklin area.

Supplies for the Homeless


In the way-back part of the warehouse, ingenious volunteers have carved out a storage area for items designated for Elk Grove’s homeless community. Thoughtful donors have brought in sleeping bags, warm clothing and toiletry items for distribution to the homeless.

Did you notice the colorful storage bins in the first photo? Our very efficient volunteers have sorted travel-sized essentials in them. Ever wonder what to do with the travel-sized shampoos from your hotel stay? We have a bin for that and will distribute to those in need.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Parade of Lights


A group of creative volunteers transformed a pick-up truck and trailer into a magical parade float for Elk Grove’s Parade of Lights.


It was a wonderful way to inform the community about the need that exists here in Elk Grove and encourage the public to support their local food bank.

Kids Can!


One of our volunteers (see previous Un-sung Heroes post) just unloaded a truckload of canned food collected by Elk Grove High School for the Kids Can! food drive. He estimates he transported a total of 15,058 cans of food today.



Another volunteer transported canned food from Elk Grove Charter School .

It is through the work of dedicated volunteers like these, EGFBS can operate as your local food bank.

Thank you, Kids Can! donors, and thank you to our faithful volunteers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Harvest Festival Food Drive

Gavin Olson, son of Board Member Jason Olson, at the 2010 Harvest Festival. This is the second year Elk Grove Food Bank Services has been the recipient of their Annual Food Drive at event.

Friday, November 26, 2010

O. C. Communications


Our long-time sponsors, O. C. Communications, scheduled a visit with us on Tuesday. We looked forward to touring our new facilities and explaining the operations and reach of our programs.

We saw our Support Works program in action. Our program manager explained the different aspects of Support Works: Job Training, Support Group (for women), and Parenting Classes. She also spoke about the program’s success rate and the introduced the qualified and devoted volunteers connected to the program.

Our warehouse area was filled with busy volunteers working to fill a record number of client requests for food and turkeys. They also saw our shelves nearly full of canned food. We explained that the majority of food drives are held in the fall, that these were the results of recent food drives, and that we hoped these stores would last until May 2011.

We made our way to the Clothes Closet to see clients selecting warm clothing and volunteers assisting them. We pointed out our “Career Corner” where clothing that is suitable for an interview or for starting back to work is kept.

After the tour, we were presented a very generous and unexpected donation. We wiped away our tears, and thanked O. C. Communications for blessing EG Food Bank Services with their faithful support.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Drive 2010 - The Results


We stood there on Tuesday afternoon, tired from the hard work of handling turkeys donated by the Elk Grove community. Our Operations Manager quickly added up the rough numbers, EG Food Bank distributed over 600 turkeys over three days.


The distribution started with a “soft” opening on Saturday with the help of MV Transportation and Grocery Outlet. Sixty Thanksgiving Dinner Boxes were distributed. On Monday we distributed about 260 turkeys. Tuesday we gave out roughly 170 turkeys. Approximately 110 turkeys were distributed through our Wellness Bag and Senior Brown Bag programs.

Turkey Drive 2010 broke last year’s records: the largest amount of turkeys donated and distributed.

Thank you Elk Grove for stepping up and supporting your local food bank.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Un-sung Heroes

There are ones that show up at EG Food Bank Services to work and to serve those who are in need. These volunteers are diligent in their effort and quietly work behind the scenes without recognition.

One of these volunteers transported all of the food collected at St. Francis High School (see previous post). It was a lot of food. It required the use of a big truck.

When asked if he wanted some type of recognition for the work he does for EGFBS, perhaps the name of his company in this blog. He smiled and said, “That is not why we do it.”


Thank you.

Tunes for Toys – The Wrap Up




Triton had a successful concert. See previous “Tunes for Toys Concert” post. Looks like Triton has huge musical talent and a faithful following. We are also impressed with his community involvement and his organizational skills to put on a concert to benefit the children in Elk Grove.

Triton delivered a SUV full of toys.

Congratulations on the completion of your Eagle Scout Project and thank you for including EGFBS in your plans.

Escape Salon and Spa Food Drive

Escape Salon and Spa, located at 4810 Elk Grove Boulevard, Suite 180, is offering a special during the months of November and December. All clients will receive a $5.00 credit on services offered at the salon, if they bring in one or more cans of food to be donated to Elk Grove Food Bank Services. Call (916) 691-0225 to make an appointment with one of their qualified staff.

We are thankful to Manager Kelly Wilson and staff for their kindness. It is great to receive support from our community.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Two Recent Food Drives

This is photo was taken in St. Francis High School gym. This is one amazing food drive! The students have surpassed the amount of food collected in previous years. Volunteers estimate they picked up and transported 66,000 cans of food. Our co-chairs of the Kids Can! food drive personally acknowledged the efforts of the students at St. Francis HS with a plaque presented at a recent Prayer Assembly.

Recently, the LDS Church held a food drive. They collected approximately 14,000 cans of food.

These are wonderful examples that demonstrate the power of individuals who assist in the mission of the Food Bank. We greatly appreciate the support of our many zealous promoters.

Friday, November 12, 2010

If You Need a Good Read


Right in our client waiting area, the Soroptimist International of Rio Cosumnes have set up a library with lots of fascinating books.


P. S. The beautiful, sturdy shelves in our library were contributed through a Boy Scout service project. Thanks, Scouts!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Turkey Drive 2010

This looks to be the most challenging and demanding Thanksgiving in our organization’s history. We have been collecting turkeys and the fixings for Thanksgiving dinner since the first of November.

Photo taken November 9, 2010

Our walk-in freezer is empty. We have lots of room for turkeys.

If you are able, please help us provide turkey dinner for local families in need. Your donation will help provide a holiday meal for which a family can truly be thankful, and count as one of their blessings.

EGFBS is open Monday thru Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. to receive donations. (We will close on Thursday, November 11, 2010, for Veterans' Day.)

Thank you.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tunes for Toys Concert

Triton Taylor's Eagle Scout Project is to help the EG Food Bank provide Christmas for needy children. He is having a concert at the Vintage Park Building on Saturday, November 6, 2010, 7 p.m. Price of admission is a new toy.

If you are interested in music for all ages, talented local musicians and/or helping Triton and EGFBS provide Christmas presents for local children, this sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday evening.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Senior Brown Bag

On the third Thursday of each month our volunteers distribute these boxes to seniors in the area that qualify.

These are the qualifications:
• Seniors age 60 and over.
• Residents of Elk Grove.
• Recipients’ income below established Monthly Income Levels

Contact EGFBS and find out if you qualify 916-685-8453.

This past month, we distributed 36 boxes.


Friday, October 22, 2010

A Typical Portion for a Family of Four


For those who are curious about the amount of food we distribute to clients, here is what we distributed Thursday for a family of four.

We emptied the boxes and bags in the cart and put the groceries on a table (and under the table) to see what all was in there. Wow!

The groceries include canned goods, pasta, bread and peanut butter from our inventory.

Some of the groceries are from USDA, and is available to those who meet requirements. These USDA groceries are available at the beginning of each month and are distributed on a first-come-first-served basis until gone.

The produce is from our donors (farmers, local gardeners, Elk Grove Community Garden, and grocers). Their generosity supplements what we distribute. We are very thankful to our contributors and are very impressed at the agricultural skill of the ones who garden.






Monday, October 18, 2010

Mayor and Congressman Tour EGFBS

Mayor Sophia Scherman and Congressman Dan Lungren toured EG Food Bank Services today.















Marie Jachino, Executive Director, showed our important guests around our warehouse and explained our mission, vital programs, and gave our sobering statistics.


Congressman Lungren wanted to learn more about our services and spoke with our program managers. Each manager spoke with the Congressman and gave details and success stories from their program.


We were able to get our busy volunteers to take a break: some of them explained to the Congressman their tasks in the warehouse and most of them smiled for a group photo.































We found out that Congressman Lungren likes ice cream. We served up ice cream cones and had a nice morning treat. We all agreed that ice cream before lunch was a great idea.

We thank Mayor Scherman and Congressman Lungren for taking time from their busy schedule to visit us at EGFBS.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sometimes it is Difficult

I spoke with E at the Food Closet today. He works with our clients, helping carry out groceries and loading the bags into their vehicle. He is a friendly person, and easily gets to know our clients and their stories. He teared up while he told me this story.

“Why are we so quick to be judgmental about people?” He regretted his feelings toward the clients he had assisted. As he pushed the cart full of groceries up to their beautiful, late-model SUV, E wondered if these people really needed the food. They asked if he could wait. They had to make room for the groceries. All of their belongings were in their truck. Blankets, clothes, they were living in their vehicle.

E had time to learn more about these clients as they rearranged their belongings to accommodate the provisions. They had purchased the truck before he was laid off and before she was diagnosed with cancer. We stood there for awhile in silence, we wiped the tears from our eyes.

These people are an example of the new wave of clients we are serving at Elk Grove Food Bank Services.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Do you golf?

Do you like to golf at the challenging Dry Creek Ranch Golf Course in Galt?

The Elk Grove Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a golf tournament Saturday, October 9, 2010. Elk Grove Food Bank Services is one of the beneficiaries of this fundraiser.

Here is the link to information about the Monsignor O’Connor Charity Golf Tournament.

Got Your Pumpkin?

Volunteers will be working at the CSD Giant Pumpkin Festival of Elk Grove this weekend, October 2 & 3. We will be running the Pumpkin Patch. Come by and get pumpkins for your harvest d├ęcor. Profit from the sale of these pumpkins benefit EGFBS.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Watermelons, Anyone?

A happy group of volunteers from EGFBS were set loose in a watermelon patch at Davis Ranch, in Sloughhouse. Guess how many watermelons they picked? Last count was 148 watermelons.

Through the generosity of the people at Davis Ranch, EGFBS was invited to come out and pick their field clean. As we unloaded the truck, we gave watermelons to our lucky clients. Everyone who received a watermelon smiled and was thankful for the wonderful treat. Thanks, Davis Ranch!

Our volunteer “picking crew” consisted of eight hearty individuals. They all had a great time and all came back dirty from the field work. Ken, one of our long-time, faithful volunteers accompanied this work crew. It amazed me to see him lift and move those watermelons.

Planning on doing some shopping?

If you could use a coupon for 25% off at Macy’s, consider this. For a donation of $5 to Elk Grove Food Bank Services, you will receive a 25% off coupon to use on October 16, 2010.

For more information about this deal, contact Debbie at 916-685-8453 extension 6.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Shredding for EGFBS


I was greeted on Tuesday, August 31, by Tisha Shaffer (Green Valley Mortgage) and Nadia Zierke (Coldwell Banker) with a big check. A great way to start my day!

These incredible women raised $1,025.60 in donations at a Shred-A-Thon/E-Waste event benefiting EGFBS. Thank you!

They Filled the Bus!

Saturday, August 28, the bighearted people of Elk Grove participated in a Fill the Bus event at the new Henry’s Farmers Market at 8211 Laguna Boulevard and the Bel Air Market at 9435 Elk Grove Boulevard (EG Boulevard and Waterman Road).


Volunteers from the Senior Center of Elk Grove and SETA (Sacramento Employment and Training Agency) worked at the event. The Senior Center of Elk Grove also provided the bus. We received 85 bags of food. Thank You. Your donations and efforts help fill the "gap" we face each year when our inventory gets low before food drives start up in the Fall.


This event was organized by the Mayor of Elk Grove, Sophia Scherman. Ms. Scherman heard about our need, and put together a food drive to benefit our friends and neighbors who find themselves in need of a little help.

Thanks Mayor Scherman!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Increasing Support

One of our successful programs is expanding. Support Works’ job training section is now open to men. The new session is an eight-week program and covers topics designed to help clients enter/re-enter the job market.


Our Employment Specialist presents information and techniques gathered from her career in the Human Resources industry; she is also available to “fine-tune” resumes. She has been very successful in creating compelling resumes for past SW clients; assisting them back to work.


The Support Works for Women Group continues as it has for three years on Tuesday and Thursday helping women of all ages grow and learn about issues pertaining to women. Our Program Manager has been very successful in helping clients address and resolve issues that have been holding them back from reaching their goals/potential.


Our Parenting Class provides simple, down-to-earth methods. Join the class and find out that you are not alone in your parental concerns. Our Instructor has over 25 years of experience as a family counselor and parent educator.


These groups will be held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Job Training and Parenting Class is open to anyone who is interested; the Support Group is currently limited to women only.


If you are interested in attending, please call (916) 685-8453 to make reservations.


What: Support Works


When: Tuesdays and Thursdays

Beginning September 7, 2010

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon


Where: 9820 Dino Drive, Suite 140

Elk Grove, CA 95624

(916) 685-8453

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Homeless in Elk Grove

Currently, the homeless population in Elk Grove is at 119 individuals, a 95 percent increase in the past two months. This startling statistic made me want to increase the awareness of the struggle that face our neighbors. These people are like you and me – they once contributed to our community but are now victims of the economy.

Staff informed me of a Sacramento artist who has taken on this controversial subject after visiting and interviewing the inhabitants of “Tent City”. I contacted Judy LewLoose to form a partnership to educate and inform our community of the growing homeless population in our area. We are honored to display LewLoose’s series Dignity for the Homeless - “Sheltering Emotions” at our Dino Drive office. Please visit our office to view her powerful portraits.




Prints from the originals in this collection and other LewLoose works are on display and available for purchase at Elk Grove Food Bank Services. LewLoose has generously designated one-half of the proceeds from the sale of these prints to benefit the programs supported by EGFBS.



Visit Judy's website here: www.lewloosewatercolors.com/

Prints from the originals in this collection and other LewLoose works are on display and available for purchase at Elk Grove Food Bank Services. LewLoose has generously designated one-half of the proceeds from the sale of these prints to benefit the programs supported by EGFBS.


What: Judy LewLoose’s Painting for a Purpose
Dignity for the Homeless – “Sheltering Emotions”

Where: Elk Grove Food Bank Services
9820 Dino Drive, Suite 140
Elk Grove, CA 95624

When: Monday – Thursday
10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Until December 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lifeline For A Senior In Need

By: Marie Jachino
Executive Director
Elk Grove Food Bank Services


After nearly 50 years of marriage, Mary had a hard time remembering what her life was like before she became a wife and mother. But several years ago, Mary’s husband passed away. Not only has she had to deal with the pain of losing her lifelong companion, she had to learn to live on her own again after 50 years of marriage. Her only income is Social Security and a very small retirement check. She’s in good health right now, but over the years she’s survived cancer, a heart attack and a stroke. She still has difficulty walking. But living on a fixed income makes it nearly impossible to pay utility bills, medical expenses and buy groceries each month. That’s why Mary stops by my office each time she visits the Food Bank to tell me how grateful she is for our Senior Brown Bag Program, USDA and Emergency Food Box.

Note: For seniors on fixed incomes, the free food from the food bank programs can be the difference between eating and going hungry. When money is tight, many seniors cut back on food in order to pay for their rent, utilities and prescriptions. Most seniors who visit the food bank are on fixed incomes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So Many In Need

I spent yesterday out of the office with clients, Erin and Mary. They come in about twice a month for food and bottled water to share with their dogs. These ladies and their three small dogs are homeless. They’ve been living on the streets of Elk Grove in their car for the past seven months—moving from parking lot to parking lot, looking for a safe place to stay.

I enjoy talking with both Erin and Mary and feel like we are friends. They have both touched my life and made my hectic day more enjoyable. My hectic day doesn’t even hold a candle to some of the obstacles our clients face. I really can’t even begin to imagine how they feel, but I want you to take a journey with me and see in future writings what they go through.

I spent time with a few more people. Linda and her son were signing up for food for the first time. He was holding a box of cereal—clutching it to his chest as though it was a prized possession. I’m sure to him it was.

Kay is HIV positive and a recovering addict. She kept talking about her cat being her only friend and told me about her recent birthday she spent alone.

There were so many stories that moved me and I found myself exhausted last night. But as I laid there in bed thinking about all those less fortunate in our community I had a good feeling knowing that we do our best every day at the Food Bank to help so many people in need.

Marie

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where Do I Start?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By: Marie Jachino
Executive Director
Elk Grove Food Bank Services




Unprecedented need is overwhelming

Several folks, especially our newest Board Member, Kris Vogt have asked me why I haven’t posted on the blog yet. It isn’t that I’ve been too busy, although this certainly is the time of the year when I am running full speed. Our Sixth Annual Run 4 Independence fundraiser is just around the corner on Saturday, July 3, 2010 and the need for food, clothing and other direct services is increasing each week at the Food Bank.

Each night, as I’ve sat down at my computer, I simply don’t know what to say or where to start? Do I tell you about all the phone calls or the people who came by the Food Bank who needed food or clothing? Or do I tell you about the increase of homeless individuals who are coming to us for help that are sacred-- really scared-because they have never been homeless before. Do I tell you about the team of volunteers who work on our Mobile Pantry program to help struggling farm workers and their families in south Franklin. Do I describe the looks of panic, embarrassment, guilt and sorrow I see on the faces of people lined up at the food bank waiting for food?

Today, I’ll start with the facts. There has been an 80 percent increase in the number of people showing up at the Food Bank since 2008 from the Elk Grove area. We are seeing an influx of first-time clients. The increased demand is stressful on our operations.

So, those are the facts, no sugar coating, just a real problem happening in our own backyard. They’re regular people with the same basic needs as you and me. Passers-by can’t pinpoint their struggle, but it is very real. Every day I search for hope—in food drive donations that trickle in, and the generosity from our many donors giving whatever they can. And, in the faces of the hundreds of volunteers, who give of their time and talents to serve those in need.


I spent yesterday out of the office with clients, Erin and Mary. They come in about twice a month for food and bottled water to share with their dogs. These ladies and their three small dogs are homeless. They’ve been living on the streets of Elk Grove in their car for the past seven months—moving from parking lot to parking lot, looking for a safe place to stay.

I enjoy talking with both Erin and Mary and feel like we are friends. They have both touched my life and made my hectic day more enjoyable. My hectic day doesn’t even hold a candle to some of the obstacles our clients face. I really can’t even begin to imagine how they feel, but I want you to take a journey with me and see in future writings what they go through.

I spent time with a few more people. Linda and her son were signing up for food for the first time. He was holding a box of cereal—clutching it to his chest as though it was a prized possession. I’m sure to him it was.

Kay is HIV positive and a recovering addict. She kept talking about her cat being her only friend and told me about her recent birthday she spent alone.

There were so many stories that moved me and I found myself exhausted last night. But as I laid there in bed thinking about all those less fortunate in our community I had a good feeling knowing that we do our best every day at the Food Bank to help so many people in need.


Marie