Food bank local partner Safeway grant funding

The Safeway Foundation has provided $10,000 to support the work Community Food Bank of San Benito County is doing to support neighbors in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

As one of the largest grocery retailers in North America, Safeway supports hunger relief programs through the Nourishing Neighbors program. Nourishing Neighbors raises awareness around food insecurity in the US, engages volunteers, and provides funding to community organizations focused on ensuring every child in America has access to healthy meals.

Over the previous months, new sign-ups for the food bank’s services have increased 1,100%. In response, Community Food Bank staff have improved their capacity to ensure staff and customer safety as well as respond to the increase in demand.

“Support from the Safeway Foundation enables us to provide food for our neighbors in need, many of whom are coming to the Food Bank for the first time,” said Maria Lynn Thomas, CEO of Community Food Bank of San Benito County. “We are here, just like Safeway is, to support our community.”

The grant will be used to purchase and distribute more food, provide appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) to staff and volunteers, and change operations to accommodate the need to practice physical distancing and safe food handling. The changes have required new warehouse equipment and workflows.

A major change has been the institution of a drive-thru grocery pick-up on Fridays and Saturdays. The indoor marketplace is not being offered at this time. The Food Bank has been assisted by a crew from the California Conservation Corps in sorting, packing, and distributing groceries. Financial support from partners like the Safeway Foundation also make this work possible.

If you or someone you know is in need, please call the food bank, (831) 637-0340, or contact us online.