Funding Local Hunger Solutions
The 2022 Silicon Valley Index found that nearly 33 percent of all Silicon Valley households do not earn enough money to meet their most basic needs without public or private/informal assistance. Prior to COVID-19, nearly 800,000 people in the Bay Area were considered food insecure. By March 2022 that number had grown to 1.5 million people. Every day, individuals have to make impossible choices between food and other basic needs.
PACF invests in local food security solutions
Food insecurity is as acute in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park as other communities. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, in 2021 and 2022 the Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) granted $225,000 to six local nonprofit organizations working to address the very serious problem of hunger.
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen connects the dots
Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen was a first time PACF grantee in 2021. From its early days in 1980 providing meals to 26 hungry people in San José, Loaves & Fishes has grown to serve more than 1.8 million meals a year in the Bay Area. Thirty-six percent of their recipients are children, twenty-five percent are veterans, and thirty-four percent are seniors. For many, their one and only meal each day is from Loaves & Fishes.
Loaves & Fishes specializes in the repackaging and delivery of nutritious hot and prepared meals through a food recovery program, partnering with Bay Area companies and institutions to use surplus food from workplace cafeterias and other sources—all with zero waste in compliance with new California state requirements.
It takes a village
PACF’s 2021 grant—with additional support from other funders—enabled Loaves & Fishes to expand their services to Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. They now deliver prepared meals to LifeMoves Opportunity Center, Palo Alto; Alta Housing Sheridan Apartments, Palo Alto; Cesar Chavez-Ravenswood Middle School, East Palo Alto; Costano Elementary School, East Palo Alto; Los Robles-Ronald McNair Academy, East Palo Alto; College Track, East Palo Alto; StreetCode Academy, East Palo Alto; and Belle Haven School, Menlo Park.
In 2022, PACF awarded Loaves & Fishes an additional unsolicited, larger Dave Mitchell Impact Grant of $75K to support a new commercial kitchen and expand their food truck fleet.
Food security-focused nonprofit partners
PACF is proud to partner with Loaves & Fishes, and other organizations working to feed and nourish our community including:
Ecumenical Hunger Program: Assisting local families and individuals who are experiencing economic and personal hardship by providing food, clothing, household essentials, support, and advocacy in East Palo Alto and surrounding communities.
East Palo Alto Senior Center: A multipurpose senior center that offers a variety of activities and assistance to seniors. A noon meal is served Monday through Friday and a brown bag program is also offered.
Nuestra Casa: 20 years of transformative community change including food distribution, housing, environmental justice, and Promotoras (community outreach workers).
La Comida: A lunch program dedicated to serving Palo Alto area seniors a delicious, warm, sit-down meal each weekday.
St. Anthony Padua’s Dining Room: Provides hot, nutritious meals, six days a week, 52 weeks a year, all at no cost for anyone in need.
Giving Where You Live to Address Food Insecurity
Gisela Bushey, CEO of Loaves & Fishes
In the video above, CEO of Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen Gisela Bushey discusses food security and the support that PACF provides.
“For Loaves & Fishes, the Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park area in San Mateo County is one of our fastest growing need areas throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. In the last two and a half, three years, we’ve seen that jump about 33 percent. The number of locations has jumped from 3 to 18. We have a partner [Palo Alto Community Fund], a real and genuine funding partner that understands that while there are so many issues that are so much bigger than we are, that we can focus our efforts locally and we can truly have a meaningful impact.”