Guest Commentary: Coming Together to Give Thanks

Photo caption: Left-to-right, UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor, City of Davis Mayor Pro-Tem Gloria Partida and Yolo Food Bank Executive Director Michael Bisch at the Yolo Food Bank Thanksgiving Holiday Distribution at Pole Line Road Baptist on November 17, 2018

by Michael Bisch

Few things are as inspiring as when the community comes together to give thanks and to support those of our neighbors who are struggling to provide for themselves and their families.  This past Thanksgiving was certainly no different.  It was incredibly uplifting to witness hundreds of volunteers, nonprofit staff and financial donors come together to make possible holiday food distributions at 10 sites throughout Yolo County, ensuring that all families in need received the food necessary to prepare and share in the tradition of a Thanksgiving meal.  With nearly 20% of Yolo County residents living in poverty and even more who are food insecure, this was no easy task.

Photo caption: Yolo County Children’s Alliance and Yolo Food Bank Thanksgiving Holiday Distribution in West Sacramento, November 17, 2018

Coordinating the distribution of 2,000 meal kits from these 10 separate, geographically-dispersed locations over the course of a week is a logistical challenge.  We are grateful for our dedicated partners who made it possible for us to extend our reach beyond the distribution we perform ourselves from our Woodland warehouse:

  • Clarksburg: Yolo County Children’s Alliance
  • Davis: Pole Line Road Baptist Church
  • Dunnigan: Family Action Center of Colusa County
  • Esparto (also serving Brooks, Capay, Esparto, Guinda and Rumsey): RISE, Inc.
  • Knights Landing: Empower Yolo
  • Madison: RISE, Inc.
  • West Sacramento: Yolo County Children’s Alliance
  • Winters: RISE Inc.
  • Yolo (also serving Zamora): Center For Families

Photo caption: Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation volunteers at the Yolo Food Bank Thanksgiving Holiday Distribution in Woodland, November 17, 2018

The holiday meal kit distributions were financially possible because of the dedication of lead sponsor Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation; business sponsors Nugget Markets, Kăna Company, Suzanne Kimmel of First Street Real Estate, B-Z Bee Pollination, Wells Fargo and KetMoRee Thai Restaurant, and the gifts of 138 individuals who responded to Yolo Food Bank’s “Sharing Yolo’s Bounty” initiative.

Photo caption: Rise, Inc. and Yolo Food Bank Thanksgiving Holiday Distribution in West Sacramento, November 16, 2018

Yolo Food Bank is a privately-funded, nonprofit distributing four million pounds of nutritious food throughout Yolo County each year, reaching every community of every size.  With an unparalleled capability and capacity to collect, store and distribute this food, the Food Bank provides unique services and opportunities to the region.  It has the potential to transform the nutritional paradigm of our communities, reducing poverty, increasing health and education outcomes and enabling social mobility of all kinds.  What better time than the holiday season to support our neighbors who struggle to feed their families?  You can share your holiday spirit with them by making a gift at

Photo caption: Yolo Food Bank’s new 36,000 sq. ft. food distribution and operations center as of November 2018.  Completion is scheduled for first quarter 2019.

Michael Bisch is the Executive Director of the Yolo Food Bank

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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