About Us

Our mission:
To end hunger in our community.

We define ending hunger as having in place a community response system that makes adequate nutrition assistance available and accessible to anyone in need of help.

Ending Hunger in our Community

The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California, from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Since 1987, the REFB has been helping our neighbors in need and currently operates 12 innovative programs under three strategic initiatives – Every Child, Every Day; Senior Security; and the Neighborhood Hunger Network.

Every Child, Every Day

Under the Every Child, Every Day initiative, the REFB operates programs specifically designated to end childhood hunger. Healthy food is strategically distributed at schools, public parks, after school programs, and in low-income neighborhood community gathering places so that children have access to adequate nutrition year-round.

Senior Security

More than 16,000 seniors turn to the REFB for help in Sonoma County. With monthly food boxes, weekly produce pantries, and supplemental healthy groceries, the REFB provides our aging neighbors access to the nutritious food needed to lead healthy, independent lives.

Neighborhood Hunger Network

The REFB provides fresh produce and staple groceries to anyone in need of help. It is through our innovative direct service programs that we can ensure a county-wide emergency food system and strong nutritional safety net. We are also a major food source for 170 partner organizations, which include local food pantries, dining rooms, child care facilities and local shelters.

The REFB is a cost effective investment in the community.
Last year the REFB:

  • Spent 95% of every dollar directly on programs.
  • Provided two meals in food to people facing hunger for every dollar donated.
  • Served 82,000 people struggling with hunger, including children, seniors, families and individuals in need.
  • Distributed 15.5 million pounds of healthy food, 55% of which was fresh produce.
  • Roughly 1.2 million pounds of food was donated by Sonoma County-based growers, food retailers, and food manufacturers.
  • Made hunger-relief resources more accessible with the launch of the REFB Food Plaza, a free, open air, weekend food market, offering fresh produce, proteins, and staple pantry items, as well as extended Food Connections office hours to meet the schedule needs of working families and individuals.
  • Provided the food equivalent of 13 million meals, over 35,000 meals per day, to our neighbors in need.
  • Operated more than 200 direct service distribution sites in Sonoma County and partnered with 166 service organizations to ensure ample access to food for all members of our community.
  • Operated over 200 direct service distribution sites in Sonoma County to ensure ample access to food for our neighbors.
  • Distributed roughly 4,000 nutritious heat-and-eat entrées prepared in our Kitchen Collective using donated food to 600 low-income seniors and 400 low-income families each month.
  • Served over 175,000 prepared meals to children after school and during the summer.
  • Made 4,745 referrals to hunger-relief programs and services through our Food Connections office.
  • Sold 14,700 bags of affordable, name-brand groceries and distributed 31,000 pounds of fresh produce at no cost to shoppers on the road to self-sufficiency through the REFB Value Market.
  • Enlisted 8,000 volunteers who donated over 90,000 hours – the equivalent of 45 full-time employees.
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