Annual Impact Report

Annual Impact Report

Fiscal Year 2020-21

Letter from Monica White

Dear Friends,

You’ll notice that our 2020-2021 annual report is a little more indepth than in previous years. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been such an era-defining event that it feels appropriate to mark the challenges and accomplishments of this tremendously difficult period with a more substantial review.

Like food banks across the country, at Food Share we saw, with shocking immediacy, the devastating impact wreaked by the pandemic. We saw it in the thousands of people in cars, lining up for hours to pick up an emergency food box. We saw it in the anxious new faces visiting our pantry partners for the first time and in the tearful, round-the-clock calls to our headquarters.

In March of 2020, Food Share had to move quickly into disaster relief mode. The number of people being served climbed to 150,000 or more a month – double our previous estimates of 75,000 a month.

I am incredibly proud of our staff and volunteers for their willingness to put their own worries aside to serve others on the front line of Ventura County’s hunger-relief efforts. With their unwavering commitment, we were able to find innovative ways to scale up our operation at a time when so much else was shutting down.

Of course, it was not only about sourcing and distributing more food than ever before in our history. In the pages that follow, you’ll see the list of our agriculture partners, public and nonprofit agencies, and pantry partners that collaborated with Food Share to adapt to the “new normal” of the pandemic to keep food flowing to those in need. You’ll read about the critical role played by volunteers and the CA Air National Guard, without whom we could not have packed and distributed hundreds of thousands of emergency food boxes. And you’ll see why we value every single dollar donated to us with such extraordinary generosity.

If last year showed us anything, it was that together we can ensure that no one in Ventura County goes hungry.

With gratitude,

Monica White

PRESIDENT & CEO

Leading the fight against hunger in Ventura County, because no one should go hungry.

Stepping Up in Times of Crisis

Food Share stores and distributes donated and purchased food with the help of thousands of volunteers at our three warehouses located in Oxnard.

During typical operations, the bulk of this food is distributed through 190 food pantries, group homes, homeless shelters, and other agencies to food insecure families, seniors, and children across Ventura County. Pantry coordinators come to our warehouses to collect food, at no cost, for their local communities.

Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, Food Share distributed just under 26 million pounds of food, providing equivalent to more than 21.6 million meals to people in Ventura County. That’s the most amount of food ever distributed in our 43-year history, and nearly double the previous high of 13.5 million pounds in 2019.

Quick Stats

Between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021...

~ 26 M

pounds of food distributed by Food Share. The most ever distributed in our 43-year history.

21.6 M

meals was the equivalent provided to people in Ventura County

2.1 M

pounds of food were processed and distributed each month, during the height of the pandemic

37,000

square feet of warehouse space was added through the generosity of Lawrence Joss, owner of Surfaces USA in Oxnard, who leased his warehouse to us for free. 

During the height of the pandemic, Food Share was processing and distributing an average of 2.1 million pounds of food each month. The CA Air National Guard was deployed to our warehouses to help pack hundreds of thousands of emergency food boxes and assist with pop-up, drive-thru food distributions. Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, we held more than 320 of these distributions.

We expanded our warehouse and freezer capacity to enable more food to be stored. Some 37,000 sq feet of warehouse space was added through the generosity of Lawrence Joss, owner of Surfaces USA in Oxnard, who leased his warehouse to us for free. 

The amount of food normally rescued from supermarkets decreased dramatically as people stocked up during Stepping Up in Times of Crisis the lockdown. We had to cancel food drive events like CAN-tree and the National Letter Carrier Food Drive that typically bring in upwards of 200,000 pounds of food each year. That meant buying more food – an average of $500,000 a month was spent in bulk purchasing – a 600% increase overnight. 

Many of our food pantry partners and agencies were forced to close or reduce hours because their staff and volunteers were sheltering in place. Initiatives like the Community Market and Kids’ Farmers’ Market programs were temporarily shut down, while new COVID-specific health protocols were implemented so that the Senior Kits program, which serves low-income seniors, could continue to operate.

How Food Share Works

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides shelf-stable pantry items like rice, pasta, and canned foods.

Our generous community donates thousands of cans of food at food drive events like CAN-tree.

Supermarkets provide surplus product like bread, dairy products, and fresh vegetables.

We glean fresh produce from our abundant neighborhood backyards.

Farmers donate pallets of fresh fruits and vegetables.

We purchase direct in bulk from food manufacturers.

Pantries

Shelters/group homes

After school programs

Drive-thru distributions

Congregate meal sites

Senior Kits

Our Hunger Relief Network

Food Share’s service area covers the entirety of Ventura, County. Our pantry partners are locations in the community that often serve needs beyond providing food. Medical centers, schools, churches, and senior centers are typically hubs for their local community, each with its own communication network to help spread the word that free food is available. Days and times of service are determined by the pantry organizers who also manage volunteer shifts.

In August 2020, we launched Find Food Now – a new, searchable pantry map, plus a free mobile app, to make it faster and easier for people in need to find out where and when they could access free food. The app received 2,300, downloads in the first year and the Find Food Now map is the most visited page on our app and website.

“I was recently approached about going back to work as a principal,” shares Nancy. “I told them I have a whole other life now that I can’t walk away from. And while the pandemic and running the pantry have been really hard, I and everyone here have grown from doing this work.”

Still Waters Pantry at Shepherd of the Valley Church, Simi Valley

When Nancy Mason retired from her role as a principal in the Simi Valley School District, the last thing she expected was to take on a new and equally challenging role. But Nancy’s leadership and logistical skills, plus her long-standing involvement with the still Water Cafe, a hot-meal site operated by the Shepherd of the Valley Church, made her the perfect person to take over when the previous director retired.

That was right before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nancy soon realized that it was too dangerous for the mostly older volunteer staff to continue. She made the difficult but necessary decision to shut down the cafe and put the health of the cafe’s volunteers and clients first. But that also meant the needs of a vulnerable, low-income population would now go unmet at a time when they needed assistance the most. The solution was to expand the service capacity of what was then a small, on-site food pantry serving just a few dozen people each month.

Eighteen months later, with just a handful of tireless volunteers and food supplied largely by Food Share, the pantry is now serving more than 600 people in need each month, including 240 families, a third of which have young children, plus more than 160 seniors.

Rising to the Challenge

The impact of the pandemic hit hard and fast. Around 25% of Food Share’s network of pantry partners and agencies that distribute food direct to the community were forced to close.

To counterbalance the closures and meet the rapid and escalating need for food, on April 1, 2020, Food Share launched nine drive-thru, emergency food box distributions a week. These distributions provided a lifeline for thousands of people, many living paycheck to paycheck, who suddenly found themselves out of work. More than 55,000 boxes were distributed in the first 90 days alone, including 1,200 distributed in just one hour at a site in Oxnard. These distributions continue today, two years later

Hakim's Story

Hakim began attending a weekly drive-thru food distribution in Moorpark after she lost her job serving meals at a senior center that went to delivery-only during the pandemic. The fresh produce and boxes of pantry staples she’s received have helped keep her and her family healthy

“It gets really hard to feed everybody,” says Hakim, a mother of five. Already on a low income, the lost paycheck, made putting enough nutritious food on the table even more of a struggle. Hakim shared what a difference the weekly food has made to her family. “I love to cook Sometimes we’ve been getting things like potatoes, celery, cabbage, and zucchini and I’ve been using that to make soup,” explains Hakim. She also remembers to pick up an additional box for a friend in need who doesn’t drive. “It has been very good to have the extra food. Thank you!”

In addition to our pantry network and drive-thru distributions, Food Share has multiple other initiatives focused on providing free, nutritious food to underserved populations.

Special Initiatives

Senior Kits

Provide monthly, shelf-stable food packages to around 3,000 low-income seniors aged 60 and over. During the 2020-21 fiscal year we distributed 40,326 of these kits.

Community Markets

Provide fresh produce at eight monthly mobile sites. The food is donated and purchased via the California Association of Food Banks, of which Food Share is a member. Prior to the pandemic, the program reached thirteen sites and served an average of just under 8,000 clients per month

The Kids’ Farmers’ Market Program

Provides nutrition education and fresh produce for kids attending after-school clubs all across Ventura County, where the program reaches dozens of children at sites like the Boys and Girls Club.

The Nourishing Neighbors Program

Made possible by grant funding from Albertsons Pavilions and Vons Foundation, provides boxes of nutritious breakfast foods to help ensure that approximately 1,600 low-income kids in the county have a healthy breakfast. Boxes are primarily distributed distributed through local Boys and Girls Clubs.

The Kitchen-Free Program

Provides nutritious food that requires minimal to no preparation for people who are unhoused or living in temporary accommodations. Over 16,000 bags were distributed during fiscal year 2020-21.

Food Sources

Revenue Sources

Highlights

Despite the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, the Food Share team and a small army of volunteers kept operations rolling along as close to normal as possible.

pounds of food, including 9,491,103 of
fresh produce was distributed

320+

drive-thru emergency food
box distributions were held

individuals, including hundreds of
service members from the 146th Airlift
Wing of the CA Air National Guard,
volunteered on 22,317 occasions

Read More

giving 79,250 hours of their time, or the equivalent of Food Share employing 38 additional, full-time staff members.

pounds of food were diverted from
the landfill with financial
support from a CalRecycle grant

boxes of food, containing
1,371,529 lbs of food to low
income seniors via our USDA-
funded Senior Kits Program

pounds of fresh produce collected by
our volunteer gleaners in 173
picks including avocados, limes,
and oranges

Food Distribution

Agency Distribution

43%

10,953,960 lbs
COVID-19 Response

38%

9,660,329  lbs
USDA Distribution & Senior Kits

19%

4,778,866 lbs
Other Hunger Relief Programs

1%

267,341 lbs

Total Poundage: 25,660,496

Statement of Financial Position

Current Assets$9,963,223
Inventory - Food$1,947,890
Net Property & Equipment$4,237,397
Endowment Funds$1,629,854
Total Assets$17,778,365

Liabilities & Net Assets

Accounts Payable$281,308
Accrued Expenses$101,966
Paycheck Protection Program Loan$330,200
Net Assets$17,064,890
Total Liabilities & Net Assets$17,778,365

Thanking Our Ag & Retail Partners

Food Share is grateful for the support of numerous farmers and retailers that donate hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, plus shelf-stable items like flour, bottled water, pasta, canned fruit, canned vegetables and rice, beans, and peanut butter.
  • Albertsons
  • Aldi Inc.
  • Amazon Fresh
  • Big Lots
  • Bragg
  • Bread Basket
  • British Wholesale Imports, Inc.
  • Bulldog Liquidators
  • Cargill
  • Challenge Dairy
  • Chobani Yogurt
  • Coca Cola
  • Costco
  • Dole Package Foods, LLC
  • El Super Market
  • Florida Beauty
  • Flowers Bakery
  • Food 4 Less
  • Frito Lay
  • General Mills, Inc.
  • Grocery Outlet
  • GSMS
  • Impossible Foods
  • Izguerra Produce
  • Jennie-O
  • King Arthur Bakery
  • Lassens Natural Foods & Vitamins
  • Minor Figures Inc
  • Nancy’s Bakery & Deli
  • No Nuts
  • Noosh Brands
  • Nova World Fresh
  • Old New York Deli & Bagels
  • Outer Aisle Gourmet
  • Pablo’s Produce, Inc.
  • Panera Bread
  • Peets Coffee
  • Pepperidge Farms, Inc.
  • Pierpont Bay Ranch
  • Plate Linguistics
  • Primal Kitchen
  • Procter & Gamble Company
  • R Bar Energy
  • Ralph’s
  • Sam’s Club
  • Saticoy Foods
  • See’s Candy
  • Smart & Final
  • Smuckers
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Starbucks
  • Sugar Foods Co.
  • Sysco Food Service, Inc.
  • Target
  • The Ventura Meat Company
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Tyson Foods, Inc.
  • Valley Market Place
  • Vons
  • Walmart
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Wholesome Harvest Bakery
  • WinCo Foods
  • Yanira’s Bakery
  • Anacapa Fresh Logistics
  • Apeel Sciences
  • Bayer
  • Beylik Farms
  • Boskovich Farms, Inc.
  • Cal Veg Farm
  • Calavo
  • Central West Produce
  • Deardorff Family Farms
  • Del Monte Fresh Produce
  • Food Forward
  • Freska Produce
  • Freyr Farms
  • Friends Ranch
  • Hollandia Produce
  • Houweling Nursery
  • Laubacher Farms
  • Limoneira Company
  • Mission Produce
  • Mud Creek Ranch
  • Ojai Pixie Packers
  • Plate Linguistics
  • Rancho Paseo Escondido
  • San Miguel Produce
  • Silent Spring Ranch
  • Waters Ranch
  • Wonderful Citrus Growers

Board of Directors

  • Shawn O’Hara, Chair 

    Principal, O’Hara Management

  • Brad Bartlett, Vice Chair

    Retired President, Dole Packaged Foods

  • Drew West, Secretary

    Retired General Manager, Global Academic Partnerships, The Trade Desk

  • Doug Menges, Treasurer

    VP of Real Estate, Many Mansions

  • Yissel Barajas

    Chief Human Resources Officer, Reiter Affiliated Companies

  • Karina Castagna

    Senior Vice President, OptimizeRx

  • Peter Firestone

    Senior Managing Director, Protiviti

  • James Jones

    Founder, The JKT Financial Group, LLC

  • Nidia Rodriguez

    Associate Director of HR, Meissner Filtration

  • lan Thompson

    Senior Vice President & General Manager, Amgen U.S. General Medicine Business

  • Lysa Urban

    Marketing Manager, Women’s Economic Ventures

  • Mike Velthoen

    Managing Partner, Ferguson Case Orr Paterson, LLC

  • Rosanne Welcher

    Retired Chief Scientific Officer, Agilent Technologies

  • Hannah Wirz

    Head of North America Product Supply, Bayer

ONE MILLION MEALS

Help us get to the magic million!
Just $50 = 150 meals.

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