Meeting Less Than Half the Need Is Unacceptable


by Michael Bisch

As the Executive Director of Yolo Food Bank, I am honored to be included this evening in a Winter Needs Panel discussion of notable area nonprofit leaders, hosted by Yolo Community Foundation.  As Yolo Food Bank is focused on significantly increasing the delivery of services across the local social safety net, this opportunity could not be more timely, and I hope that you’ll consider attending.  The event will take place at International House, 10 College Park, Davis, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Twenty percent of Yolo County residents live in poverty according to Federal statistics.  However, the number leaps to nearly 48% when Yolo County’s high cost of living is taken into consideration.  Tens of thousands of hard-working families require the support of the social safety net to make ends meet, yet less than half of them are receiving all of the critically-needed services they so desperately need.  The impacts on these families and the overall community are profound:

  • Financially stressed households
  • Families and individuals falling into homelessness
  • Deteriorating health
  • Higher rates of mental illness
  • Increasing drug and alcohol abuse
  • Poor educational outcomes
  • Lower wages
  • Reduced worker productivity
  • Lower economic activity
  • Elevated crime rates

Meeting less than half the need is unacceptable.  A call for sustained, coordinated community action is long overdue.  The nonprofit, governmental, and corporate sectors, along with community-minded individuals, must work on building upon existing partnerships, and create new ones, to dramatically reduce the unmet needs.  This necessary work includes dramatically:

  • Building-out the overall safety net
  • Building the organizational capacity of each service provider
  • Improving efficiency
  • Elevating community and leadership awareness
  • Cultivating a countywide culture of philanthropy and community service

Tonight’s event promises a thoughtful perspective on these issues.  In the words of Yolo Community Foundation:

“Winter is a time when both giving and community needs spike, so it is a critical time for donors to be thoughtful about their giving. Join us for a panel discussion focused on major needs in Yolo County this winter season, what organizations are doing to address those needs, and how local donors can focus year-end giving to maximize impact.”

Moderated by respected local fundraising consultant Steven H. Weiss of The Weiss Group, the full discussion panel will include leaders of three of Yolo Food Bank’s nonprofit partner organizations, obtaining food to propel their own missions, in whole or in part, from our food recovery warehouse:

– Doug Zeck, Executive Director, 4th & Hope
– Liane Moody, Executive Director, Short Term Emergency Aid Committee
– Jeneba Lahai, West Sacramento Family Resource Center & Health Programs
Manager, Yolo County Children’s Alliance

We are looking forward to a robust conversation that not only can inform donor decisions as year-end approaches, but increase awareness and philanthropic effectiveness, as well, as the new decade begins.

Yolo Food Bank is a primarily privately-funded nonprofit, approaching six million pounds of nutritious food distributed throughout Yolo County annually.  With an unparalleled capability and capacity to collect, store, and distribute this food, Yolo 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

Michael Bisch
Executive Director
Yolo Food Bank



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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