All the Redwood Empire Food Bank news you need to know.
All the Redwood Empire Food Bank news you need to know.
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Hello Fellow Hunger Relief Worker,
Welcome to our first Partner Quarterly newsletter! In this edition, you’ll find time-sensitive information on grant offerings, updates on the new Food Connections Market (aka: Community Marketplace), important temperature control information, and so much more.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee and dive in to get all the Redwood Empire Food Bank news you need to know in one healthy bite. 

FRESH NEWS always something different

Monthly Survey

Our monthly survey will be transitioning to Oasis input in June. We will provide you with an easy link if you aren’t yet using W5.

Who, what, where, when, why?

Free equipment grant sunsets in May
If you’re not already using W5 to check your folks in, track monthly statistics, and generate reports for your program, you should get on board before the end of May to take advantage of our free equipment offer (Surface Pro 7 tablet/laptop, stylus pen, screen protector, case, scanner, scan cards & bracelets—valued at over $1,000). 
This system has given us incredible insight into our participants, allowing us to serve them better.
It only takes 2-3 minutes to sign people in for the first time. After issuing them a scan card, they can then access not only your pantry, but any of the Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Groceries to Go, Diapers, and Senior Basket distributions throughout Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino Counties, as well as other participating partner pantry programs.
  • No ID is required to sign up, except initially for Senior Basket to prove they are 60.
  • There is no concern for privacy of information as it is all HIPAA compliant.
  • No personal information is shared outside of your organization.
  • The Redwood Empire Food Bank only shares statistical information in order to receive additional funding to obtain more food.
We currently have 14 Partners using W5. All the equipment, training, and support are provided to get you onboarded quickly.

Benefits to using the W5 system

  • Automatically makes your program eligible for the monthly grant without filling out the monthly survey.
  • Offers great monthly/annual reporting for your board and is great support for grant applications.
The free equipment grant sunsets at the end of May, so please reach out to Kim at to find out more while this offer is still on the table. 

Monthly Survey Insight 

What have we learned over the past 18 months?
Many of you have truly stepped up to get food to those in need in your community, with the peak of 85,000 people being served by all of you together in one month alone! Of those who were able to remain open, 41 of you not only served your usual number of clients, but increased your service so much that it resulted in your program receiving a monthly grant increase from $100 to $1,300! Pretty astounding!

Daily Essentials

The Daily Essentials program was launched in October of 2021 and has been a huge success. In the first six months of launching the program alone, the Redwood Empire Food Bank provided diapers to 55,000 children—over one million diapers total.

We are proud to offer the Daily Essentials program to any organization serving low-income families. Click here to learn more about the program and to apply.

Grocery Recovery Program (GRP)

Did you know that starting the first of this year any retailer, food producer, or restaurant that is 10,000 square feet or more must donate 20% of edible excess foods that they would otherwise dispose of to agencies that can make use of it?
Per SB1383 (passed back in 2014 but this is the latest roll out) they must divert a portion of edible foods from the waste stream in order to lower greenhouse (primarily methane) gasses that result from landfill.
How does this affect your program? You may be eligible to pick up food donations near you for immediate turn around to your clients. It’s amazing how great the quality and quantity can be! We can even provide you with equipment to help you participate in the program. Contact Kim at if interested.

What’s new?

Honey, I shrunk the market

For those of you who haven’t shopped in person in the last month, we’ve moved the Community Marketplace to the front of our building in the location previously held by our Food Connections Market—and have inherited the name.
Did you know that what you see is not all you can get? Since the space is smaller, we have backup inventory just east of the market in several bays of the warehouse. If you see something out that you’d like more of, simply ask either of the clerks. As before, there are still purchased items available by request, just ask if there are any items you need that you don’t see.
Appointments are required to shop. The link is in the bottom half of your survey email and never changes. If you’re having shopping appointment challenges, please contact Erika at 707-523-7900 ext. 101. You may also place an order online before your appointment for things that you don’t need to shop for in person (dry grocery, frozen) to lessen your shopping time.

CANNED NEWS good for the long haul

Temperature Control Equipment

Keep your [foods] cool, man…
The weather is heating up already! In order to be cleared for shopping or pick up of refrigerated and frozen items, you’ll need to have a Temperature Control Contract on file, otherwise you’ll be limited to dry shelf stable items only. There are copies on hand in the Food Connections Market (aka: Community Marketplace), so if you’ve recently acquired some coolers/bags and/or ice packs, or thermal blankets, simply bring the equipment in the first time to show one of our clerks so they can help you fill one out to put on file. If your program is out of the county, you’ll also need a temp gun to check temperatures once you’re back to your site.

Calendar of Quarterly Closures

The Redwood Empire Food Bank will be closed for the full day on:
May 30, 2022 for Memorial Day
June 20, 2022 for Juneteenth
July 4, 2022 for Independence Day
Additional closure dates to be announced.

Deliveries and Hubs

For Partners who are unable to shop in person, did you know that you can have a 400 lb (minimum) order delivered to one of our hubs for you to pick up in either Sonoma, Ukiah, Finley, or Clearlake?
If you are far North/West, you may be able to share truck space with other partners who schedule trucks bound for Mendocino or Eureka. If you’re unable to take full advantage of your membership with the Redwood Empire Food Bank, please reach out to Kim at to see how you may be able to access more foods through hub deliveries.


Trinity Baptist Church

Trinity Baptist Church launched their Food Ministry program about 36 years ago, headed by Aaron and Annita Campbell. Back then it was known as the Childrens and Brown Bag Program. Most food was purchased from stores through donations provided by the church. About 10 years later, Annita started volunteering at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, eventually becoming a partner to help expand the offerings to their now much larger program.
For two people who are salt-of-the-earth, non-computer-users, their program has adopted every current resource we have available to partners, including the W5 Project and Daily Essentials program, which has not only helped their clients, but themselves and us as well. 
None of this would be possible they both said, without the contributions of their hard working, dependable volunteers. At the end of each week, a few ladies come in to go over all that has been shopped for or donated and organize it by category. At 6AM on Saturday mornings, a dozen or so volunteers show up to share a little coffee and conversation before setting up the distribution—together, they serve over 800 people per month.
Hats off to the Trinity Baptist Church team for their steadfastness and willingness to grow! We are grateful for the support from all of our partners in ending hunger in our communities. Thank you! 

Redwood Empire Food Bank
3990 Brickway Blvd.,
Santa Rosa, CA 95403 US

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