SAN LUIS OBISPO — SLO Food Bank celebrated the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County’s Disaster Support Fund, a fund providing economic relief to nonprofits in the region working diligently to ease suffering and minimize the impact of loss during the challenging times.

To date, the SLO Food Bank has been the recipient of $54,000 of Disaster Support Funds, which resulted in 378,000 additional meals to offer those we serve through neighborhood distributions and agency partners.

The rate of hunger has more than doubled in our County since the beginning of the year, and some people have found themselves relying on the SLO Food Bank for the first time in their lives.

At the onset of the pandemic, the SLO Food Bank experienced an increase in food distributions by 370%, quickly depleting our warehouse’s inventory from a steady 6-month reserve to only seven weeks’ worth of food.

The Community Foundation was quick to offer COVID relief funding. This initial contribution allowed us to meet the growing demands for food and strengthen the safety net cast out to those in need.

In June, when the Mid-State Fair was canceled, the SLO Food Bank found themselves facing a possible reality of zero protein from this important event. Typically, the Fair Meat accounts for 35% to 40% of the annual protein inventory. The Community Foundation was quick to form the James W. Brabeck Youth Legacy Fund.

This Fund established the Buyer’s Coalition that made it possible to purchase livestock from 4-H and Future Farmers of America students and secured the Fair Meat for donation to the SLO Food Bank. The processing of the meat, which can be costly, was the next hurdle to surmount.

Thankfully, the Community Foundation and the Disaster Support Fund came to our aide again, by awarding us a generous grant to cover the costs of processing the protein.

If not for the Foundation’s generous donors and community partners providing the strength behind the Disaster Support Fund that fueled these charitable contributions, the SLO Food Bank and many other nonprofit organizations would find it difficult to meet the needs of those they serve completely. These are defining times, and the Foundation continues to rise to meet the challenges of the day with great distinction.

Getting through this together, Atascadero