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

April 24, 2013

Food Bank Club

The Food Bank Club was created to give youth in Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services' Youth Education program the opportunity to volunteer their time in other programs within the organization. During the 8 week session, youth lent a hand in the Food program to sort different food items to be given away at our local food distributions. The food bank club also helped in the Clothing program, the Parent Education's Baby Boutique and Demonstration Garden. The youth enjoyed being able to help in the different programs knowing that all their time and hard work would benefit families in need.
Food Bank Club volunteers in Parent Education

Submitted by Krystal Harrell
SFBFS' After School Academy Assistant

April 16, 2013

Preschool Garden Day

On the first Wednesday of every month, the preschool children of the Youth Education program at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS') have been participating in a Garden Day. They have had the opportunity to pick, wash and taste vegetables directly from SFBFS' onsite Demonstration Garden. Last Wednesday, the youth planted vegetables in their very own garden bed.  They planted tomatoes, kale, squash and lettuce which they will be able to watch grow next to their outdoor play area until it is finally time to taste the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.  

The children were able to get hands on experience while they learned about the process of growing their own food. They dug a hole for each vegetable start and learned about separating their roots so they will grow deep into the soil and stay healthy. They will also be able to witness a seed transforming into a full grown plant with a little sunlight and moisture from the lettuce seeds they planted.
By combining the Demonstration Garden with the Youth Education play area, children are given the opportunity to interact, observe, nurture and learn. Well known child development theorists such as Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget have expressed the importance of children learning to nurture plants from beginning to end. Maria Montessori said, “When the children put a seed into the ground… the children are inspired with a feeling for nature…” This helps them to not only gain confidence in their abilities, but to witness cycle of life first hand.  If that wasn’t enough, there is also evidence that when children learn to plant fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to choose to eat them when given the option.

In the future we hope to have the children tending to their garden, creating their own markers for what they have planted as well as continuing to learn from the Demonstration Garden.

Submitted by Sarah Rambo, Child Development Intern

April 11, 2013

Youth visit Deer Creek Hills

On April 2, 15 children from Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services' Youth Education program visited Deer Creek Hills and took part in the Sacramento Valley Conservancy’s free Saturday self-led hikes.

The following journal entry was submitted by
Kevin, age 11.

At 8am in the morning, we drove to Deer Creek Hills. We drove in to the ranch and saw 2 horses. One of the ladies who was riding her horse let us pet it.  

Before starting on our hike, we made sure we went to the bathroom because it would be a long hike and there were no restrooms by the trail.  We did not want to go to the bathroom out in the wild by a tree.

At first, we saw piles of cow poop and then we started on our hike. We saw lots of cows.  The cows were far away from us and we kept our distance because sometimes the cows might charge after you. As we are walking on the trial, one of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy volunteers told us to stop to listen to the black birds chirping and he also showed us two different types of oak trees; Blue Oak and Valley Oak.

Fred, a Sacramento Valley Conservancy volunteer showed us how the cows scratch their backs; they rub their backs against the trees. We also saw a place where the Native American used to grind acorns.

 We saw a pile of bones; we started guessing why they died.  Joshua, one of my friends put a cow bone on his head and we all started laughing.  

For lunch, we stopped to eat by a pond and as we were heading back on the trial, we decided to stop because we saw more cows by trail. The cows immediately started running away. I think they were frightened. Before heading back home, we stopped to feed the horses.   

All of us really enjoyed going on the hike and feeding the horses

Spirit of Giving Celebration

Recently, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) hosted our annual Spirit of Giving recognition event. This gathering is meant to celebrate all of the wonderful businesses, schools, churches and neighborhood groups who raised money, food and clothing for SFBFS during the holiday season. This year, SFBFS partnered with over 250 organizations and together they collected nearly 100,000 pounds of food, over 26,500 articles of clothing and close to $34,000 dollars in cash contributions.

The cash contributions were raised through SFBFS' Virtual Food Drive, which allows SFBFS to leverage relationships with local farms and purchase healthy food directly from local farmers at a discounted rate. The organization's goal is to continue to build the Virtual Food Drive so SFBFS can increase the percentage of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains that we provide to families in need. 

Currently, a family that visits SFBFS' Food program receives a four day supply of food and more than 50% of the food  items they receive are fresh produce. The families in our Food program have been receptive to this change and show their appreciation by engaging in health and nutrition discussions, gardening classes and positive changes to their diet. All of these program changes have taken time, but the results have been significant. In 2010, SFBFS served 9,000 individuals per month. Today, with our free famers' market format, taking produce 12 different locations each month, SFBFS now serves 20,000 people per month. None of this would be possible without the generosity form all the wonderful groups that support our efforts. 

Check out great photos from this year's Spirit of Giving celebration

Is your company interested in hosting a donation drive? Visit SFBFS' Web site for more information.

Submitted by Blake Young, President/CEO