Thank you for joining us in our first EVER blog post! We are so excited to finally be able to share who we are, what we do, and offer you an opportunity to get to know our volunteers, partner charity agencies, and even our donors!
Although this is all so exciting to us, we first want to cover the basics.
Keep on reading to learn the answers to our most frequently asked questions.
What is a food bank?
Feeding America Riverside | San Bernardino (FARSB) is one of over 200 Feeding America food banks in the nation. A food bank is a resource that provides food to those in need. Food banks acquire donations of food, sometimes in large quantities from stores that may be unable to distribute items. Although perfectly edible, these items may have imperfections that don't meet a store's standards. FARSB also acquires food from community food drives from neighbors just like you! Our food bank utilizes these resources to distribute food to people most in need through our food distribution programs.
What is the mission of FARSB?
Our mission is to alleviate hunger in the Inland Empire.
What does FARSB do?
FARSB works to alleviate hunger in the IE. We do this by offering a variety of unique programs, which include our Agency Distribution Program, Kids Produce Markets, USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program, School Pantry Program, Tools for Teachers, and coming soon, our Food Distribution Hubs.
How many people are at risk of hunger?
In the IE, there are over 800,000 food insecure people. 300,000 of these are children. As you can see, there is a great need. In fact, there are enough starving people in the IE to fill Dodger Stadium 3 TIMES!
Who is hungry? Are they all homeless?
Food-insecure people come from all walks of life and are not just homeless. Many are families. Some facing temporary hardships, like loss of a job, loss of a family member, or illnesses causing hospital bills to skyrocket. Some need a lot of help, while others just need food to last them until the next payday. Being hungry and having lack of food stems from a variety of issues, and not just homelessness.
How can I support my local food bank?
There are several ways you can support FARSB. The greatest impact comes from monthly donations. Our monthly donors supply a source of security for the food bank that allows us to plan greater more efficiently planned programs. For more hands-on opportunities, please consider becoming a regular volunteer, hosting a food drive on our behalf, or spreading the word with friends, family, and co-workers.
Where is the food bank located?
We are located at 2950-B Jefferson St. Riverside, CA 92504.
What is the difference between a food bank and a food pantry or soup kitchen?
A food bank provides food to both food pantries and soup kitchens. On a much larger scale, we collect donations to distribute. In fact, our food bank is 79,000 square feet and racking holds up 3 tiers of palletized food throughout the warehouse. With a facility of this size, we can supply over 450 charities in our region with food to distribute, which do include food pantries and soup kitchens.
Can I receive food directly from a food bank?
Although some food banks directly serve the public, our food bank does not. Our 450 charity partner agencies do however serve the community in a variety of ways. To find local charities that serve food, gotfood.us is a great resource to start. Simply type in your zip code and food distribution sites will pop up. Please call them ahead of time to find out what kind of food will be distributed and what the hours of operation will be.
Can we come see how the food bank works?
When you schedule a volunteer shift for the first time, a tour of our facility will be given to you. If you are not planning on volunteering while here, please contact Carolyn Solar at csolar@FeedingAmericaIE.org to schedule a visit. Please keep in mind, our hours of operation are from Monday-Friday from 8am-3pm.
Why should I support FARSB?
FARSB services such a large region, feeding and assisting those most in need, spanning from Barstow all the way to Temecula and beyond. Of the 800,000 people in need, we are only reaching half of those people who need assistance. With your help, we could be distributing more food, expanding our programs, and reaching those that have yet to receive our services. Funds, food, and time all service an important role in ensuring we fulfill our mission of alleviating hunger in the Inland Empire.
Have another question? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to keep you update with information on how you can become a hunger hero.