SAN LUIS OBISPO – With hunger at historic levels in SLO County since the onset of the global pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout, thousands of SLO County residents are struggling to put food on their tables, many for the first time in their lives. Thankfully, many members of our community have stepped up to help their neighbors get through these challenging times. In December 2020, SLO City Mayor Heidi Harmon brought together several of our regional trade labor organizations to fund a matching gift to benefit the SLO Food Bank, resulting in hunger relief for many thousands of SLO County residents.
Participating in this compassionate effort are the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals 639 and 952, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 403, Operating Engineers Local 12, Tri-Counties Building Trades, Central Coast Labor Council, Local Chapter of the National Electrical Contractor Association (NECA), Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Workers Local 104, and the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 5 . In all, these professional trade unions joined forces to fund a $22,500 matching gift fund.
SLO Food Bank CEO Garret Olson said, “These amazing trades professionals are not only building a beautiful and safe community with their skill, they are also building a healthy and hopeful community with their heart.” Many of the Union leaders shared they felt honored and compelled to lean in to support hunger relief during these unprecedented times.
SLO City Mayor Heidi Harmon brought this group together to benefit struggling SLO County residents, and she shared, “I am so grateful to the working men and women of the Central Coast who have shared so generously with those who need it most. And thank you to the larger community who stepped up and matched the unions’ generosity to ensure that no one will go hungry during this challenging time.”
With the help of bulk purchasing agreements, gleaning operations, donations, grants, and other food relief and rescue programs, the SLO Food Bank is able to turn every dollar donated into seven nutritious meals for those struggling with putting food on the table. The SLO Food Bank distributes food to those in need through its 60 monthly neighborhood distribution sites and through over 80 other non-profit organizations on the front lines of hunger relief across the entire County.
About: The SLO Food Bank is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, serving all of San Luis Obispo County through its direct food programs and network of agency partners. The SLO Food Bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger in San Luis Obispo County and build a healthier community. The SLO Food Bank distributes an average of 4 million pounds of food per year to help our neighbors struggling with hunger. Nearly half of the distributed food is fresh produce, including produce harvested locally by the GleanSLO program. Prior to the pandemic, one in six SLO County residents was food insecure. Since the pandemic, hunger in SLO County has more than doubled, and the SLO Food Bank remains in front of this accelerating and tragic reality. To learn more about the work done by the SLO Food Bank throughout San Luis Obispo County, please visit slofoodbank.org.