OUR STORY

In Monterey County1 in 4 residentsis struggling with hunger.

Getting Food To Where Its Needed

We are the sole food resource in Monterey County, operating over 70 weekly direct-distribution sites and stocking the emergency pantries and meal programs of over 160 local human service nonprofits. We serve 1 in 3 children and 1 in 4 county residents. Our programs are designed to not only assuage hunger but to also address the unique nutritional concerns faced by our varied client demographics, which include growing children, seniors, veterans, and homeless persons. They cannot afford to consume fresh produce and other items containing vital nutrients and our programs, which include free farmers markets and year-round produce delivery programs, are often their sole source of these critical foods. Our service is unduplicated and our commitment to the community is unwavering, but our resources are not unlimited.

Healthy, Nutritious Food For Everyone

Monterey County ranks highest among all 58 state counties in food insecurity, child poverty, and incidence of chronic illnesses such as Type 2 diabetes that are caused by insufficient nutrition. 34% of County residents suffer food insecurity and 30.3% of children live in poverty. Half of all County adults are pre-diabetic and 1 / 3 of them will develop the full-blown condition. Half of all children born in Monterey County after 2000 will develop Type 2 diabetes. Hospitalizations for complications related to Type 2 diabetes in Monterey County comprised 33% of all admissions.

In the County’s poorest areas, hospitalization rates for Type 2 diabetes are 47%, 90% of children live in poverty, and 33% are classified as homeless. We cover a territory of over 3200 square miles, from as far north as Pajaro and as far south as San Ardo, from Big Sur to Watsonville, much of it classified as food deserts. As the County’s sole food provider, we are on the frontlines of stabilizing families, nourishing growing children, preventing homelessness, supporting physical and mental health, and promoting education, job training, and other activities that would be impossible without sufficient nutrition. Shelters, treatment programs, youth services, veterans’ advocates, senior groups, and others providing critical human services rely on us for the food they need for their emergency pantries and meal programs. Our direct programs, which include free farmers markets, child weekend nutrition, produce deliveries to seniors and farmworkers, grocery delivery for breast cancer patients, and food bags of nutritious staples, are literal lifelines for residents who have been forced to cut back on food in favor of rent, lifesaving medications, transportation, or family emergencies. For the over 100,000 individuals we serve, we relieve them of these terrible choices, assuring them of multiple sources of the foods they need to manage chronic illnesses, retain independence, achieve normal development, and to work and learn.

Committed to Food Sustainability + Safety

Sustainability, volunteerism, and efficiency are at the core of our hunger relief efforts, which involve multiple community partnerships and leverage the existing infrastructure of our nonprofit partners to deliver cost-effective service that ensures the most seamless countywide food availability. These nonprofits serve high need remote areas by stocking their emergency pantries, we further our reach into underserved populations who face the most considerable barriers to food access.

Our joint food rescue or reclamation efforts with local Ag to divert good produce from landfills and into the hands of residents in need has saved millions of pounds of fruits and vegetables from going to waste.

Each month over500 volunteerssupport our work.

Our Volunteers Make Everything Possible

Our volunteer program offers meaningful opportunities for all ages and abilities and helps to facilitate work experience and the acquisition of transferable job skills for youth, residents with special needs, and adults transitioning into the workforce. Over 500 volunteers, including current and former clients, assist us per month.

Our Impact

We are responsible stewards of the donations entrusted to us and 95 cents of every dollar donated goes to food and programs and we can provide five dollars worth of food for every dollar.