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Food Bank Feeds Fire Victims By Jenny King

Jan 08, 2019 08:52PM

Jessica and Hugo

Food Bank Feeds Fire Victims 

By Food Bank CCS Jenny King


When a community is affected by a large-scale disaster, food banks serve a critical role as “second responders.” They provide food and water in the immediate aftermath and offer longer-term food assistance to people rebuilding their lives.

When the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano worked with four other Bay Area food banks to develop an emergency response plan, we never thought it would be activated twice in a little over one year. The plan was activated for the first time during the Santa Rosa area fires last yearWith the recent devastation caused by the Camp Fire in Butte County, that plan has officially been activated once again.

As a member of Feeding America, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has an established, ongoing partnership with nonprofit agencies serving Butte County and the surrounding area. While other Bay Area food banks are assisting in transporting and warehousing the disaster relief food, we conduct food distributions directly to the displaced victims to help meet the demand.

“Our hearts break for our neighbors north of us in Butte County,” said Executive Director Larry Sly. “We’re sending food, water and staff so children and families who are devastated by the Camp Fire will have some comfort and support during their greatest time of need.”

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s new distributions are taking place in Chico and Oroville twice a month foras long as our services are needed. 

With their eyes welling up with tears, survivors of the fires in Butte County have shared their heartbreaking stories with us. Most of the people we’ve met have never before needed food assistanceyet they now have to turn to us.

We will continue serving the needs of Solano County and Contra Costa County residents struggling with hunger in addition to providing emergency support to fire victims in Butte CountyAnd as we take care of today’s increasing needs, we have to continue preparing for the next catastrophe. We realize it’s not a matter of ifbut when we’ll be needed again to help communities get back on their feet.

If you know of anyone in the affected area needing assistance, please visit or give help at