WHAT WE DO

In Monterey County160 Nonprofit Partners rely on usas their sole source of food + fresh produce.

Empowering A Hunger-Ending Network

Getting the right food, at the right time, in the hands of people in need takes a personal touch, trust and local knowledge. We partner with over 160 nonprofit organizations across our county to do just that.

The Food Bank serves as the central ‘hub’ providing high quality food, fresh produce, and educational & nutritional resources to our nonprofit member network—supplying more than 80% of all food distributed. Together we’re empowering thousands of caring, dedicated people every day to end hunger in Monterey County.

We provide sustainable hunger relief programs that address our community’s specific nutritional concerns. Our programs include free farmers’ markets, mobile produce pantries, weekly produce deliveries to children and seniors, weekly grocery deliveries to breast cancer patients and their families, and weekend nutrition for children.

We have 240 direct distribution sites throughout the county, covering a 3200 square-mile territory from San Ardo to Pajaro with sites in each city and many school locations.

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We distribute over15 million poundsof food each year.


Our Programs

Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) is our largest direct distribution program and provides basic nutritious staple foods at 26 countywide sites.

Free Farmers Markets allow clients to choose from an array of fresh fruits and vegetables and takes place at ten countywide sites.

Farmworkers Mobile Produce Pantry delivers weekly fresh produce to farmworkers directly onto the fields at the end of their shifts.

Senior Produce Program delivers weekly fresh produce to seniors in need at 18 senior centers throughout the county and to homebound seniors via Meals On Wheels.

Youth Produce Program delivers weekly fresh produce to afterschool program and to Migrant HeadStart locations.

Kids N.O.W. (“Nutrition Over the Weekend) provides healthy food to children to take home over weekends when their risk of hunger is highest and items are specially selected to fulfill their unique nutritional needs for growth and development.

Breast Cancer Patient Food Assistance Program delivers weekly groceries to breast cancer patients in need and their families as they undergo treatment and recovery.

Nonprofit Food Network Partners – we are the primary food resource for over 160 local nonprofits who rely on us for items to stock their emergency pantries and meal programs.

Education and Advocacy Programs – we develop proactive, prevention-oriented strategies such as cooking and nutrition classes and onsite health screenings to address clients’ health concerns.

Pandemic Program Adjustments

Since COVID, all sites have been converted to the drive-thru to protect public health and we have over 50 countywide sites, including one for seniors only and school sites for students and their families. We have sites in every city to mitigate crowds and hold multiple distributions each day. Each site serves 600-800 families and we have miles-long lines even before they open.

Of the 160 nonprofits who operated emergency pantries and meal programs, only 35 remain open and offer only limited services. Many may never reopen. We have set up have many school sites for students and their families; many children in our community rely on school meals as their only stable source of nutrition and the closures cut them off at a time when their families lost jobs and work hours.

70 percent of children countywide qualified for free-reduced price school meals before COVID and in our poorest areas, 100 percent did. Until schools reopen, we are committed to providing them with weekly food bags containing a week’s worth of nutritious meals and snacks, and these distributions take place at easily accessible school sites in our highest-need areas.

To reach even more children, we are providing nutritious staples and fresh produce to daycare centers that have been set up to care for the children of farmworkers and other essential workers. In addition to providing them with food to prepare children’s meals and snacks during the day, we are also supplying food bags for families to take with them when they pick up their kids at the end of their shifts.

Given the vulnerabilities of our elderly population and the need to protect their safety, we have also established a seniors-only site distribution site.

  • Mobile Produce Pantries Our Mobile Produce Pantries visits dozens of neighborhood schools, libraries, wellness centers, and more. Filled with healthy staples and fresh produce, this program provides a free farmers-market open to all families.
  • Kids N.E.E.D (Nutrition Encouraged Every Day) Kids N.E.E.D program provides children with a week’s worth of nutritious meals and snacks during the summer and for as long as schools are closed. These food bags are distributed each week at school sites in our highest-need areas

We work closely with schools, colleges, and universities to stock on-campus food pantries. These pantries help fulfill students’ basic needs and support vulnerable students in achieving their degrees and diplomas. Including Hartnell, Monterey Peninsula College, and Cal State University Monterey Bay.


Monterey County ranks highest amongAll 58 state counties in food insecurity,Incidence of Type2 diabetes and child poverty.

Nonprofit Network Member Listing (By Geographic Area)

Salinas

  • A Time for Grieving and Healing
  • Alliance on Aging
  • American Red Cross
  • Boys & Girls Club, Salinas
  • Breast Cancer Survivors
  • Celebration Worship Center
  • C.H.I.S.P.A.
  • Comunidad Cristiana
  • Digital Nest
  • Door to Hope
  • Dorothy’s Place
  • Echoes from Calvary
  • Empowerment Foundation
  • Faith Emergency Shelter
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Girls, Inc. of the Central Coast
  • Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast
  • Hartnell College
  • Iglesia La Cosecha Final
  • Interim, Inc.
  • Kingdom Builders Pentecostal Church of God
  • Lattimore Community
  • Loaves, Fishes and Computers
  • Madonna Del Sasso Church
  • Meals on Wheels
  • Mexican American Opportunity Foundation
  • Mt. Nebo Hispanic Church
  • Northside Assembly of God
  • Peacock Acres, Inc.
  • Primera Iglesia Bautista del Sur
  • Rancho Cielo Youth Campus
  • Royal Family Church of God
  • St. Vincent de Paul Societies of:
  • Sacred Heart Church
  • Salinas City School – Family Resource Center
  • Salinas New Life Church of the Nazarene
  • Salvation Army, Salinas
  • Seventh Day Adventist Church
  • St. Clare’s Corner
  • St. George’s Episcopal Church
  • St. Joseph’s Church
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
  • Sun Street Centers
  • Templo Rosa de Saron
  • The Encounter Church
  • The Epicenter
  • The Harvestlands Church
  • The Rock of Salinas
  • Turning Point of the Central Coast
  • Tynan Village Apartments
  • University Corporation @ Monterey Bay
  • Victory Mission
  • Vineyard Christian Church
  • YMCA
  • YWCA

North County

  • Harbor Chapel
  • New Fire – Oceloyolt Aztec Dance
  • North County Christian Church
  • North County Senior Nutrition
  • Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church
  • Pajaro Rescue Mission
  • Peace in the Streets

South County

  • Children and the Country Life
  • First Night Monterey – Greenfield Art Center
  • Gonzales Community Church
  • Greenfield Community Science Workshop
  • Greenfield United Methodist
  • Holy Trinity Church
  • King City Food Pantry
  • Light of the Valley Christian Fellowship
  • Loaves & Fishes
  • Our Lady of Solitude Church
  • Salvation Army, Mobile Ministry
  • Salvation Army, Soledad
  • Soledad United Methodist Church
  • YMCA – Soledad

Monterey Peninsula Area

  • Access Support Network
  • All Saints Church
  • Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
  • Bitten Falge Farm Workers Project
  • Boys & Girls Club, Seaside
  • Calvary Chapel
  • Carmel Presbyterian Church
  • Community Homeless Solutions
  • City of Marina Parks & Recreation
  • Cypress Community Church
  • Fort Ord Environmental Justice Network
  • Gateway Center
  • Holy Assembly Church
  • Learning for Life Charter School
  • Marina Church of God
  • Monterey Fairgrounds
  • Monterey Peninsula College
  • Orphan Productions
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
  • Pacific Meadows
  • St. Mary's by the Sea
  • St. Angela’s Church
  • St. Francis Xavier Church
  • St. Jude’s Church
  • Salvation Army, Sand City
  • San Carlos Cathedral
  • Shoreline Church
  • The Bridge Restoration Ministry (Men & Women)
  • Thomas Carman Food Pantry
  • Veteran’s Transition Center

Ending Hunger & Encouraging Health

Food is medicine and good nutrition is a cornerstone of health and wellness. Insufficient access to healthy food contributes to increased risk of diet-sensitive chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure and creates barriers to those trying to effectively manage their conditions once diagnosed. Food insecurity and poor nutrition cause harmful outcomes in all stages of life, including poor physical, emotional, and developmental outcomes. A recent UCSF Hunger Study revealed that hunger is costing the health of our community over 65 million dollars.

Monterey County ranks highest among all 58 state counties in food insecurity, the incidence of Type 2 diabetes, child poverty, and child homelessness. 34% of residents are hungry and half are diabetic or pre-diabetic. 33% of hospitalizations in the county are related to complications from Type 2 diabetes; a number that rises to 4 7% in our poorest areas. 25% of pregnant women in the county are hungry. This adversely impacts our economy, healthcare system, schools, neighborhoods, and participation in the civic and cultural life of the community.

In one of the most expensive regions of the country, rent eats first. Community members experiencing hunger employ extreme coping strategies, making impossible choices between food and other critical needs, including medicine.