Follow fun updates as well as interesting stories about clients, volunteers and supporters of SFBFS

February 17, 2010

Change for Change!

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services runs on the giving spirit of so many generous volunteers and partners in the community. It is a general standard that clients who receive services here and wish to volunteer must wait a year after first receiving services before becoming a volunteer. Still, many clients express a desire to give back in some way. The “Change for Change” giving campaign was a response to the generosity of the community and their desire to give back.

Volunteers in the mobile Food Assistance distribution of the Food Assistance Program are familiar with the huge, purple “Change for Change” thermometer sign that has been set up at Mobile distributions since early fall of last year. This “thermometer” measured the rising numbers of donation dollars received by clients who contributed spare change in the donation box during Mobile food distributions. This season we earned an amazing $613.13! We are currently looking to find a sponsor to match this total in future campaigns. Look for the “Change for Change” campaign again next holiday season.

“Change for Change” is a testament to the spirit of giving in the community, a willingness to contribute whatever one can. Thank you to all who have supported our programs over the years.

February 5, 2010

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services welcomes new Clothing Program Manager.

Here at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services we are super excited to welcome a new employee, Tasha Bryant! Tasha joined our staff as Clothing Program Manager in January this year. I had the opportunity to sit down with Tasha and get to know more about her…

Tasha has a strong background working in social services. Before joining Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, Tasha worked for WIND youth services for many years, running a program for homeless youth. Tasha offered great compassion and care to youth and their families in her former work and brings ideals of compassion and non-judgment to her new role here at SFBFS.

I asked Tasha why she chose to come to SFBFS and what she appreciates about our organization. Tasha has been familiar with our programs for some time and often referred clients from WIND to SFBFS for services. She appreciated the service clients received here, especially the fact that here clients don’t have to “jump through hoops” to receive service. Clients at SFBFS receive direct services at no cost and with minimal requirements. At SFBFS things are “really happening- definitely keeping it real at the Food Bank”.

I asked Tasha what she thinks some of the biggest obstacles are for receiving services in the community. She explained to me that core problems need to be addressed, not just the symptoms. For example, you can feed someone who is hungry or house someone without a home, yet that still may overlook the underlying issue. On the other hand, she continued, meeting basic needs is the beginning point for success, a concept that each individual can define for him or herself. Clearly her views are in line with the SFBFS mission of meeting people’s immediate needs while helping to move them toward self-sufficiency. Furthermore, Tasha believes each person should be greeted with an open mind and treated as an individual in a dignified manner. “You get my respect as soon as you walk in the door, you don’t have to earn it…” Similarly these values are in line with SFBFS core values: compassion, integrity, and community.

Outside of work, Tasha and her family are die-hard basketball fans. “Pretty much every male in my family has gone to school on a basketball scholarship”, she says. Her husband is a teacher and the head basketball coach at Encina Prep High School. For many of the players, basketball provides a support system and helps them succeed in all aspects of life. Tasha explains, “When you work for something, you don’t take it for granted”.

We are thrilled to have Tasha join our staff at SFBFS. Now that you’ve learned a little bit about her, be sure to meet her in person when you come out to volunteer or receive service at the Clothing Program!

February 2, 2010

Women Healing Themselves Reach out to Haitian Orphans, By Ann Robinson

January 12, 2010: The pictures in the newspapers, on TV and the Internet are devastating. The massive damage of the 7.0 earthquake is hard to imagine even when faced with screen shots. The international response to pull people from the rubble and get supplies in is heartening as is the millions of dollars raised by individual donors and a national star-studded telethon. At the same time, however, it is disheartening to see the children.

UNICEF estimates 380,000 children had already lost one or both parents before the quake and were left homeless when their orphanages collapsed. Now, as many as one-million more have been left without one or both parents following the earthquake. UNICEF has warned the scale of the crisis has jumped to “unbearable proportions”.

Here in Sacramento, the members of Women’s Wisdom Art (WWA) swung into action. WWA is a program of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Many of the women in the program have been battered by poverty, abuse and illness and come to WWA to heal through art. But when the scope of the Haitian tragedy became evident, these women turned their attention away from their own struggles and focused on the orphans.

My name is Ann and I volunteer each week in WWA leading the yarn art class. I felt the women in WWA could have a direct impact, by creating dolls for these orphans. Immediately the women in the class began to produce great gifts. The energy spread throughout the entire program. The fabric art class began to create dolls, the collage class began crafting puppets and the ceramic class started sculpting small hearts. The energy that comes from helping one another is so healing in itself. The women have embraced the projects and are putting their whole heart into each piece. We hope to be able to send the toys near the end of February.

For more information about Women’s Wisdom Art or other programs at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services, please visit