Plant a Row for Food Bank’s Growing Circle

by Amber on May 17, 2012

Have you planted your garden? Did you remember to include an extra row for your local food bank? Join the Growing Circle program at River City Food Bank and put your garden to work for our community’s hungry.

River City Food Bank executive director, Eileen Thomas with volunteer Kerri Warner, Leadership Sacramento's Inspire Giving program

A report by the Sacramento Hunger Coalition finds that access to free food in Sacramento is limited. At the River City Food Bank, executive director Eileen Thomas says that a few years ago, a busy month saw 4,000 hungry people seeking emergency food assistance. Today, they serve 4,000 recipients in a typical month.

Where do staples for the food bank come from for the 1,000 people who reach out for help each week? Thomas says food donations simply don’t keep up. The charity spends about $8,000 per month to feed the hungry.

In an effort to offset the cost of buying food, River City Food Bank is asking local gardeners to grow an extra row and make regular donations of fresh produce. River City is providing yard signs for participants to proudly display their commitment to this Growing Circle program. Perhaps it will inspire your neighbors to get involved, too!

Fresh fruit and vegetable donations are especially important in a community plagued by obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other diet-related diseases.

A mosaic, created by volunteers at River City Food Bank

If you would like to participate in the Growing Circle program, stop by River City Food Bank, 1800 28th Street, between 7:30AM and 5PM Monday through Friday. You can pick up a yard sign and a t-shirt—and meet the wonderful staff and volunteers who make this program possible.

Don’t have a garden but still want to give? River City Food Bank has a booth at the Cesar Chavez farmers market on Wednesdays. Buy extra produce and drop it off with their volunteers. You can also bring food donations directly to the food bank. They ask that you focus on healthy food, as they do not accept donations of soda pop or chips. After all, their goal is to help improve the health of the people they serve.

For information visit the River City Food Bank website.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

The Rowdy Chowgirl May 17, 2012 at 8:42 pm

What a great idea. I think a lot about the kind of food we give out through my Saint Vincent de Paul conference. Of course, we have to give what is donated to us, and it has to be non-perishables. So much of it is boxes and cans of processed foods. But people need fresh fruits and vegetables, too and this is a great way to meet that need.


Amber May 18, 2012 at 7:29 am

Rowdy Chowgirl, what you’re describing is pretty typical for most food banks. In my nonprofit work, I have always witnessed the massive amount of donations of extra pastries, processed foods, etc. For some reason, there seems to be more of these food items than anything in donation boxes.

I love the River City Food Bank’s model, too! They also have refrigeration to accept milk and eggs.


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