What a busy year! The Valley Food Bank was able to provide food to a great number of people in need. This has been possible thanks to all the people and organizations who generously donated food, provided needed financial support, and who gave their time and skills in food preparation and other volunteering, as well as the partnering pantries that distributed the food directly to those who needed it.
We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of you. In the previous 12 months, we processed 2,526,565 pounds of perishable food, 1,010,284 canned goods and 1,162,553 dry and packaged food items. This enabled us to provide food resources to 42,727 families representing 156,022 individuals. With social awareness of our activities growing little by little, and with the volume of food donations from corporations increasing, the time has come for us to expand our pantry network. We will be searching for appropriate partners as we complete some much-awaited renovations.
After having acquired a new 24-foot International refrigerated truck to augment our fleet, we are planning the replacement of our warehouse refrigerator and freezer units thereby doubling our capacity. This year, we also plan to enhance the pantry network, which began last year, and both increase the number of agencies we serve and improve our relations with the ones we serve already. Working to raise social interest in food banking is another important effort for us. The problem of hunger cannot be easily solved, but we believe that a great force for change will come from raising the consciousness of many people through our activities.
Food banking is an alternative to dumping food products that are still safe for human consumption. Stores, food manufacturers, and importers all face conflicts of having food that must be disposed of because it cannot be sold. Food banking helps these companies save money along with making a positive impact on the community.
Last year was filled with challenges and many victories. We are looking forward to embracing the New Year with renewed energy and focus as we continue “Fighting Hunger – Feeding Hope.”