At the Community Food Bank many of our programs focus on filling the food gap. We work hard at making sure that everyone has the food they need, when they need it. Community food security is when there are no gaps to fill.
Our purpose at the Community Food Bank is not only to alleviate hunger, but to end hunger. Community food security—when all people at all times have economic and physical access to sufficient food for a healthy life—is the best hope for ending hunger. Our Community Food Security Center is implementing programs of self-reliance, consumer education, agriculture, community collaboration and sustainability to eliminate the gaps for everyone.
These are some of the elements of a food-secure community:
• Enough free or affordable sources of food to eliminate anyone’s worry about where the next meal will come from;
• Resources that allow people to build their abilities to provide their own food are easily accessed;
• Everyone, regardless of income, is able to access healthy food;
• The community assures the opportunity to earn a living wage;
• Consumers understand where their food comes from and can make educated choices with regard to food and health;
• Sustainable small and large-scale farming demonstrates a productive, working landscape.
Highlights of the Community Food Security Center
The Community Food Security Center strives to end hunger through economic literacy, advocacy, farmers’ markets, gleaning and gardening instruction programs. The Community Food Security Center works with community partners such as faith communities, nonprofit organizations, elected and government officials, local food producers and academic institutions. Work is centered on addressing food system issues and building partnerships for community food security.
for our clients begins at first contact. Many need to apply for formal government programs like WIC (Women, Infants and Children) or Food Plus; others simply need an emergency food box to get them through a rough patch. CFB’s advocates counsel people and find the best way to help them, with a focus on self-sufficiency.
Education Economic literacy
goes hand-in-hand with advocacy. Classes help families learn about household economics, food programs and family food security. Classes teach people to take control of their finances and understand them in a new light.
CFB manages a 7,000-square-foot demonstration garden. Natural gardening workshops in English and Spanish are open to everyone. In addition, we provide home gardening technical assistance to low-income families. Opportunities for home gardeners and small farmers to sell their produce at the farmers’ markets are available.
Picking excess produce from local farms and homes for distribution at CFB conserves resources and increases the nutritional value of the food CFB distributes. Gleaning at CFB is a volunteer-run program that, in 2006, provided 65,000 pounds of fresh fruit.
Farmers’ Markets & Sustainable Farming
Why a farm? The answer is obvious: farms grow food, we provide food, it’s a clear match. Planting a farm and working with local farmers to provide locally grown food allows us to provide healthy food. In addition, local farms are good for the local economy; purchasing local products keeps money in the community. Farmers’ markets provide direct access to nutritious, locally grown food, support local farmers and provide a weekly venue to build community.