Over 10,000 people were cared for through the Orangevale Food Bank in 2017. Nearly 100,000 meals were provided to hungry families in Orangevale and Fair Oaks. We averaged over 75,000 pounds per month of food picked up, sorted, and distributed. Nearly 50 volunteers helping every single week to make what we do possible, and to share a smile with a neighbor in need. These are all incredible numbers! After opening our doors in 2012, I would have never imagined seeing this organization grow up to be able support this type of need. For this, I am deeply grateful.
Statistics are great, and they help us understand the broad impact we are having in our community. But I also think of the young man who just came in this week for his first visit to the food bank. He’s recently married in his early 20s, and really struggling to figure out how to provide for his new family and to balance all of the expenses on a minimum wage job. Tom Carden, our executive director, sent me a message saying “When you get a young man who tears up, gives you a hug, and thanks you so much. That made my day! This is what it’s all about.”
I also think of the sweet, elderly widow who lives in a nearby trailer park. She is able to walk to the food bank pushing her cart. She comes in every month to pick up healthy produce, meat, eggs, and grocery items that supplement her modest fixed income. She enjoys the warm smiles and friendly conversations she has with our volunteers, because that may be one of her only social interactions for the day. What we do is about so much more than just giving out food. It’s about people. And our volunteers make that happen.
You never know someone’s story. You never know what they’ve been through that has led them to be at the food bank this month. What I’m most thankful for are the lives that are impacted every week through our food outreaches and through the volunteers of the Orangevale Food Bank. We’ve become an important aspect of the community and we’re here to stay.
I am writing this letter primarily to those who have supported the food bank financially this year. Your investment, whether large or small, helps us continue providing an amazing service to our neighbors in need. And so I am very thankful for those of you who have sacrificed to make what we do possible. Thank you for your continued support of the Orangevale Food Bank!
Founder, Board Chairman and Volunteer