CVCB banks on generosity to quell Valley hunger

Central Valley Community Bank holds their sixth annual Business Food Fund Challenge to encourage businesses to donate to food banks throughout September

CENTRAL VALLEY – One Central Valley bank is helping another, but it doesn’t have much to do with money.

The Central Valley Community Bank (CVCB) is helping Valley food banks serve their communities by donating volunteers and cash. Last week the president and CEO of CVCB, James Ford, announced their sixth Business Food Fund Challenge is on their way to benefit 15 local food banks in the Valley and Greater Sacramento region. And they are hoping to get other businesses to do the same throughout September.

Food banks are reporting unprecedented levels of food insecurity due to the lingering COVID-19 pandemic and regional wildfire evacuations. Families who have never had to rely on food assistance are finding their way to local food banks for the first time, in addition to those who continue to be affected by economic stresses, homelessness and job loss.

The Bank led the effort by donating both team volunteerism and $27,000 to food banks throughout its footprint with the goal of encouraging regional businesses to do the same. The recipient for Tulare County is FoodLink of Tulare County Inc. They have been a keystone is quelling hunger in the county, but especially in Tulare County.

For every $1 donated, qualified food banks are able to provide up to seven meals through their bulk contracts. For example, CVCB’s donations will help underwrite up to 189,000 individual meals. The Business Food Fund Challenge works to raise awareness of the need by providing an easy reference page at www.cvcb.com/business-food-fund-challenge which displays contact information for all 15 food banks detailed below, as well as their volunteer preferences and direct links to make donations.

“Central Valley Community Bank is proud to donate time and funds to support our local food banks which tirelessly provide assistance to those in need,” said Ford. “We encourage other local and regionally-based businesses to join us in their own communities to fight hunger.”

According to Feeding America, a nationwide organization of food banks, an estimated 45 million people, including 15 million children, were food insecure in 2020, up from 35.2 million people, including 10.7 million children, in 2019. Even more troubling is that one in eight children are expected to experience food insecurity in 2021 according to the same report.

Additionally, due to the lingering pandemic, food banks have lost many of their regular volunteers, further straining these vital organizations.

The Business Food Fund Challenge has donated nearly $100,000 since 2014 and has received some matching support from the FHL Bank of San Francisco to help food banks in the communities it proudly serves.

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