It is a privilege to be reaching out to you today as the Valley Food Bank director. While we navigated one of the most unpredictable and challenging years in our history I am so humbled to be surrounded by such a diverse and passionate organization. One with such a rich legacy of serving our community in need.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the health of our loved ones, the businesses and jobs we relied upon, and the way we live our daily lives. Hundreds of our neighbors faced new needs, like hunger, for the very first time in addition to the many that already relied on the food bank as part of their lives before the COVID-19 crisis. As we continue to navigate through the evolving challenges, we want all our neighbors to know that the Valley Food Bank is here for you!
I have served in this capacity for more than 16 years, and have been embedded behind the scenes helping guide the strategies to keep our ministry running. To date, we have collected and distributed pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in unprecedented numbers. We have also implemented some unconventional strategies to ensure access to meals can continue in our neediest communities. This included pop-up pantries, delivery to seniors, and getting food resources to newly formed non-profits to help get them stocked to do business. We became a hub for USDA and Farmers to Families distribution of goods.
We developed and executed a seamless transition from a farmer’s market-style of pantry distributions to a no-contact, preselected food resources box into a trunk. To accommodate all the city regulations and safety of our volunteers, this method was implemented once the shutdown was announced. We are both grateful for and inspired by the untiring commitment so many volunteers demonstrated as well as our food bank staff. And we couldn’t have done any of it without our incredible network of supporters and friends and heroes like you.
Your continued partnership is needed now more than ever as we innovate with new solutions where existing ones no longer fit. We are in this together, making life better for folks that may still be struggling. I am excited to collaborate with community leaders, elected officials, civic organizations, places of worship and our supporters to launch new and exciting endeavors in 2021.
I also look forward to activating your new ideas to move our organization forward. Please send me a note, email or make a visit. Most of all, I cannot wait for all we will accomplish together for our neighbors who need us, now and beyond these present uncertainties.