Director’s Note

Going hungry is bad enough at any time, but at Thanksgiving, a holiday built around enjoying the fruits of a bountiful harvest, being hungry can be extra troublesome.

Civic organizations, schools, businesses and individuals are teaming up in creative ways to make sure the growing number of families and individuals showing up at pantries will be fed during the holiday season that is fast approaching.

Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, thousands more people have asked for food. Donations from retail stores has diminished, schools have deferred food drives until the spring, and produce distributors have smaller inventories due to trucking and fuel costs. All that to say this season has been challenging but we remain hopeful that no one will be turned away this holiday season.

We experienced the various surges that were brought about with issues associated with the pandemic. We embraced the farm-to-families programs to reduce handling and increase distribution to twice as many families and ensure safe handling. Our volunteers were superheroes in all respects.

Reliable, faithful and hardworking are the most obvious characteristics of our volunteer workforce.  Donors increased their giving to make certain we could keep the doors open, trucks fueled and warehouse humming like a bee-hive.

It is not just food that our team provides. They all serve with smiles, and are committed to distributing quality food. They ensure there is efficient processing so that everyone in need gets served. And they are always prepared to stop to listen, pray and encourage some of the folks that appear to be despairing because of their current circumstances. This newsletter highlights some “heroes” that could be relaxing but want to make a difference in the lives of others who are in need.

The holidays have sufficient challenges but with the support of many our community will be well served. We are so thankful for all the help and concern demonstrated during this season as we prepare for the upcoming holidays.

Will Hernandez
Director, Valley Food Bank