Yolo Food Bank’s Grand Opening and Open House event this Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., will include the announcement that Sutter Health will invest $1 million to help support greater access to food through the new facility’s operations and programs. The investment will focus on helping Yolo Food Bank to meet Yolo County’s full food security need over the next five years.
“The $1 million investment made by Sutter Health not only will result ultimately in at least $2 million invested in Yolo Food Bank’s potential for social impact, but it will simultaneously ignite new relationships and opportunities to broaden our work, and nurture and support our long-standing partnerships with more than 70 nonprofit organizations in Yolo County who access food from Yolo Food Bank to advance their own missions,” explained Michael Bisch, Executive Director, Yolo Food Bank. “Sutter Health’s vision for this investment is to strengthen the entire network required to effectively address food insecurity in our community, and it’s our honor and our responsibility to move this vision forward.”
Yolo Food Bank made the move to the new purpose-built facility, located at 233 Harter Ave. in Woodland, in March. The event is free and includes activities and experiences for all ages. No RSVP is required.
Don Hartman, Sutter Davis Hospital Human Resources Director, will make the formal announcement at the event. Hartman also is a member of the Yolo Food Bank Board of Directors.
The healthcare provider’s confidence in the new 42,000 square-foot facility to expand access to food has inspired a matching $1 million campaign to provide the working capital needed to scale up operations. The “Nourish Yolo” campaign seeks major gifts pledged over the next five years to help expand food collections and distributions activity by at least 150% – from 4 million pounds of food per year to 10 million pounds – which is estimated to meet Yolo County’s full food security need. Nearly 20% of Yolo County’s almost 220,000 residents live in poverty, and one in four children do not know from where their next meal will come. In the current fiscal year, which began July 1, Yolo Food Bank’s ambitious initial goal is to increase activity by 50%.
To date, the “Nourish Yolo” campaign has commitments from 10 donors representing one-third of the $1 million goal.
“As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health reinvests in the communities we serve,” said Rachael McKinney, CEO of Sutter Davis Hospital. “That means our work goes beyond the traditional healthcare we give within our hospitals and care centers. Our approach helps improve the health of the larger community. We appreciate the opportunity to form strong partnerships that support impactful programs, such as ‘Nourish Yolo’, which help meet our communities’ most pressing needs.”
In addition to the investment in “Nourish Yolo,” Sutter Health has a long track-record of support for Yolo Food Bank programs. An annual grant helps to partially sustain the “Kids Farmers Market” program, introducing fresh produce to low-income children at eight schools throughout Yolo County. Both Sutter Health and Sutter Davis Hospital employees also have participated as “Kids Farmers Market” volunteers and have engaged in food sorting and re-packing on site at Yolo Food Bank, as well.
Every three years, Sutter Health conducts a Community Health Needs Assessment to determine the unique needs and challenges for each community it serves. Sutter Health’s investments with Yolo Food Bank directly connects to three priority areas identified within the most recent assessment: access to basic needs, such as housing, jobs, and food; active living and healthy eating; and injury and disease prevention and management.
The Grand Opening and Open House event will showcase all Yolo Food Bank programs, demonstrating how the facility supports and enhances them. The celebration will begin just after 10:00 a.m. with a collaborative ribbon cutting by the Woodland, Davis and West Sacramento Chambers of Commerce, followed immediately by words of welcome, donor recognition, and civic proclamations delivered by elected officials.
Scheduled to participate are Congressman John Garamendi, Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor, Woodland Mayor Xochitl Rodriguez, Winters Mayor Bill Biasi, Davis Mayor Brett Lee, and West Sacramento Council member Babs Sandeen.
The second two hours of the open house will feature six family-friendly activities and experiences intended to engage the community with the mission and work of the Food Bank. Additional details and a schedule for the event can be found at www.yolofoodbank.org/grand-opening.