Day of Service 2012

Second Annual Day of Service Event

by Lisa Bacon, Nonprofit Services Manager

On Wednesday, September 11th, the Food Bank will host more than twenty-five members of the United States Navy for the second annual Day of Service event. The event will begin with a few words of thanks from Jim Floros, the Food Bank’s CEO, along with a moment of silence for the lives lost twelve years ago on September 11, 2011. This will be followed by the flag salute, led by Senior Chief Wayne George. The group will then be invited to assemble food boxes for seniors enrolled in our Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

The Food Bank established the Day of Service event in September 2012 as part of Hunger Action Month. This event provides the opportunity for local military members to support the fight against hunger, while the Food Bank thanks them for their service to our country. For more information on Hunger Action Month and how to get involved, please click here.

Hunger Action Month 2013

September is Hunger Action Month!

by Lisa Bacon, Nonprofit Services Manager

September is nationally recognized as Hunger Action Month. Although the Food Bank and our nonprofit partners work diligently to relieve hunger on a daily basis, the month of September allows us to spotlight the issue of food insecurity and provide the public with tangible ways to get involved.  In San Diego County alone, more than 446,000 people are faced with food insecurity and about half of those people are children.

Each month, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank feeds nearly 320,000 people throughout the county, but there’s still more work to be done. During the month of September, we are encouraging San Diegans to spread the word about hunger in our community, and there are a number of ways you can get involved. Here are just a few ideas:

- Donate: For every dollar donated to the Food Bank, we can feed three people. Your contributions help us to serve more hungry San Diegans every month. Click here to donate online today

- Volunteer: Our volunteers are the backbone of the organization. You can volunteer with a group of people (we love office team building days!) or as an individual five days a week. Click here to sign up to volunteer online.

- Host a Food Drive: The Food Bank relies on food donations from the community to serve people in need. You can host a food drive with your office, religious organization, school, or any group of interested people! To learn more about food drives and to register, click here.

- Take the CalFresh Challenge. Stay tuned for more information on how to get involved!

- Promote the Food Bank and Hunger Action Month with social media. Like the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and make your profile picture orange (the official color of hunger) to demonstrate your support for the anti-hunger movement. Bonus points if you post pictures on Facebook from your time volunteering in our warehouse!

We hope that you will join us this September (and every month!) in the important fight against hunger.

Some of the delicious pears donated to the Food Bank.

A sweet (and healthy!) donation

by Lisa Bacon, Nonprofit Services Manager

Thanks to a generous donation from Golden State Fruit and Provide Commerce, the Food Bank was able to distribute more than 35,000 pounds of pears into the community this month. This donation is aligned with the Food Bank’s commitment to providing nutritious foods to food insecure San Diegans. Pears are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamins C and K, and potassium. And they’re tasty to boot! Here are a few healthy recipes that feature pears:

Pear Mango Salsa

Honey & Pear Oatmeal with Almonds

Easy Pear Crisp

Spinach & Pear Salad

In the last fiscal year, the Food Bank distributed more than seven million pounds of produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be expensive in the grocery store. As such, the Food Bank makes the distribution of produce a priority, so our clients on limited incomes can have access to proper nutrition.

Do you have any favorite pear recipes? Feel free to share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Employee Spotlight: Q & A with Xavier Hernandez

Meet Xavier Hernandez, the Food Bank’s Volunteer Coordinator. Xavier is one of three project coordinators here at Food Bank warehouse. He sets up projects for volunteers, gives them a quick (but in depth) explanation of the project and provides project support. Xavier is also the project coordinator in charge of volunteer scheduling working with all of our volunteer groups (corporate, faith-based, youth, military, etc.) in setting up dates and shifts for them to come out and help. Get to know Xavier and the work of the Food Bank in our Q & A interview with him. You’ll get an insider’s look into the world of volunteering and why our volunteers are the glue that hold everything together.

Q: What inspired you to work for the nonprofit sector and the Food Bank?

A: I’ve always been inspired to work for nonprofits and I just got lucky in getting this job. It’s always been an interest of mine to help people.

Q: What does working at the Food Bank mean to you?

A: It means I have a job where I feel good when I get up in the morning and I feel good when I go to sleep, where every day I’m helping hundreds (if not thousands) of people at work.

Q: Do you have any stories of volunteers who made you realize you are in the right career field?

A: I think my experience in general with volunteers has given me that reaffirmation of “I’m in the right place.” There are people like our volunteer, Paul, who is retired and he comes about two to three times per week to help out. Everyone knows him now, because he’s such a great volunteer. Just building that rapport and relationships with different volunteers and making work friends.

Q: About how many volunteers do we see per week inside the warehouse?

A: It’s approximately 530 volunteers give or take, because sometimes people cancel or they don’t show.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for people to know about the behind-the-scenes work our volunteers do day in and day out?

A: I think it’s important, because all the work done in the warehouse is done by volunteers. If we didn’t have volunteers, there’s no way we would be cranking out the volume of food we do. We don’t have enough warehouse employees to pack the senior food boxes; we serve about 8,500 seniors every month with just that program and we need about 30 people to do that. Plus, bagging all the produce for the summer lunch program and for the agencies. Volunteers also sort cans during their shifts. Basically, nothing would get done without our volunteers and I think it’s important for people to know that these are people who are coming in on their off time. They are using their free time to come in and help out their community. I think that’s huge.

Q: Are there any requirements for volunteers and if so, what are those requirements?

A: You have to be six years or older. You also need to wear closed toes shoes and appropriate clothing, so you are ready to work. You can sign up online and then show up for your shift. Then, don’t forget those closed-toe shoes.

Q: How can someone sign up for a volunteer shift?

A: Follow the volunteer link on this website and register if you are a new volunteer (there should be a button that says “Volunteer Now”). Once you are registered, you can look at the online sign-up page and sign up for any available days. Shifts are posted monthly.

Q: What is the greatest lesson you have learned working for a nonprofit?

A: I think the greatest lesson I’ve learned for me personally is not being negative. There was a time in my life that I was pretty negative. Working here, you see all the positivity. There are a lot of positive people here; not just volunteers, but employees. Everyone is really excited to be here, everyone is really excited about the work they do and we do good work. We’re helping more than 350,000 people per month.



Employee Spotlight: Q & A with Sandra Rabourne

Meet Sandra Rabourne, the Food Bank’s Special Events Planner. Sandy is responsible for planning and managing all of the Food Bank’s fundraising events including our annual gala and our upcoming Blues Festival on September 7. The goal of our events is, of course, to raise money for our vital hunger-relief programs. The other important goal is to cultivate relationships with future donors and volunteers. Get to know Sandy and the work of the Food Bank in our Q & A interview with her. You’ll get an insider’s look into how we fundraise and why fundraising is so invaluable to our hunger-relief programs.

Q: What inspired you to work for the nonprofit sector and the Food Bank?

A: Early in my career, I worked in the publishing industry in corporate America as an executive responsible for building profits for book and magazine publishers. It was an exciting part of my life filled with travel and amazing learning experiences, but there was always a part of me that had a strong desire to work in the world of nonprofits. We all dedicate such a large part of our life to our work and I felt that I wanted to contribute to my community in a greater way and I knew volunteering on my days off from the publishing world wasn’t going to completely fill that inherent need in me. Six years ago, I committed to changing my career path and joined the nonprofit sector. I spent several years at another local nonprofit organization where I learned the business of how to successfully market and fundraise. I’ve been with the Food Bank only a short time, but my desire to join this team and support our mission to advocate for the hungry and educate the public about hunger stemmed from the fact that the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is a local mission that represents San Diegans helping fellow San Diegans. To help people right here in my own community was extremely important to me.

Q: What does working at the Food Bank mean to you?

A: Working at the Food Bank means I get to help provide hope for the 350,000 San Diegans that we feed each month.  It means that I get to be part of solutions to hunger issues in the great City of San Diego and it means that I get to be part of an amazing community of people who share a common goal. Each morning when I walk through the parking lot to work, I watch all of the agencies lining up to get food that they will distribute to others in need. Bearing witness to that early each morning drives me to come to my desk and do the work that I do.

Q: Why are events and fundraisers so valuable to the Food Bank?

A: Events and fundraisers are a platform to convey the message about the services we provide and engage people in our mission. If you can bring people together in a fun and entertaining atmosphere, they open up to learning about what our organization does right here in our own backyard. It is a space and time for our donors, advocates, staff and volunteers to get to know one another on a deeper level and exchange ideas that will support our mission.

Q: What has been your favorite event to plan for a nonprofit (either here or at a previous organization)?

A: That is a difficult question to answer! Events all become sort of like children and I could never have a favorite. Each event has a group of dedicated and passionate people that believe in the cause it will support and selflessly give of their time. Events also each have their own unique personality and theme and so much consideration goes into the large and small details.

Q: Being the latest person to join the team, describe what your first week was like.

A: My first week was full of pure amazement. I remember going on a warehouse tour and watching the dedicated volunteers and employees work. The warehouse is this bee hive of activity and energy. I remember staring in amazement at all of the cans of food and bins of produce. It was this incredible moment of realizing how many people are involved in getting the food here and managing the process of distribution. The warehouse tour was like watching one of my favorite quotes come to life: “When you eat a piece of fruit, think about the person who planted the tree.” I encourage people to schedule a tour and learn more about what we do.

Q: What is the greatest lesson you have learned working for a nonprofit?

A: The greatest lesson I have learned from working for nonprofits is that when you give of yourself and your time you will be rewarded tenfold in how you feel inside.  There will always be suffering in life, but there will also always be hope and the ability to give back in life. When I was young, I used to think that I had to travel to third will countries to truly give back. What I’ve learned is that we can give back right in our own communities. Hunger isn’t only a third world issue.  It is an issue happening right here in sunny San Diego. Of our 3.1 million residents in San Diego County, approximately 500,000 people live at or near the federal poverty level. That means they are going without vital services such as food, health insurance and the fulfillment of basic survival needs that many of us take for granted.

Q: Why are volunteers such an important part of Food Bank events?

A: Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization. Our human capital is our greatest asset. What many people don’t know is that we only have a staff of only 40 people. Over 15,000 volunteers a year help us to fulfill our mission.  Our goal is to always make sure a volunteer is matched according to their skill set to the right job. It’s a great way to get out into the community and get real life experience. Event volunteers help us to successfully produce events and we need more help!  If someone wants to get involved, they should contact me at

Q: What’s the next event lined up and what does it entail?

A: The San Diego Blues Festival takes place of Saturday, September 7 at Embarcadero Marina Park North on the glorious San Diego Bay from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  It is a day of music and fun all benefiting the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank.  To purchase tickets and learn more go to!


Our President & CEO Jim Floros talking to everyone about our year.

First Annual Meeting & Reception Recap

by Stephanie Schauer, Communications Associate

On Wednesday, July 17th, we held our first-ever Annual Meeting & Reception which was attended by elected officials, the media, our nonprofit distribution partners, donors and supporters.

The meeting began with opening remarks from Bruce Hollingsworth, who chaired the Food Bank’s board of directors from 2010 to 2013. Boardmember Annie Goshert then administered officer elections and welcomed newly-elected board members. Bruce Hollingsworth spoke about his time with the Food Bank and congratulated Larry Cleary for his appointment as the new chairman of the Food Bank’s board of directors.

Following Larry Cleary’s remarks, our CEO Jim Floros gave a presentation about the Food Bank’s work over the last fiscal year and outlined our plans for the coming year. Our final speaker for the evening was Elaine Javey who is a former Food Bank service recipient. Elaine talked about her past struggles raising five children and how the Food Bank was there for her when she needed help. Elaine is a Food Bank success story having recently gotten a full-time job at MCRD and she now volunteers at our food distributions. Following the meeting, attendees were given tours of our 72,000 sq. ft. warehouse facility to see how the Food Bank feeds so many San Diegans in need every month.

Congratulations to our new board members and a special thanks to all of our supporters who attended the meeting!

National Sugar Cookie Day!

National Sugar Cookie Day: The Healthy Remix

by Stephanie Schauer, Communications Associate

Today is the day to celebrate the wonderfully delicious and ever so popular sugar cookie! This cookie has been a popular sweet treat in the U.S. for generations (especially during the holiday season) and it is simple to make. That may be why it is the cookie most bakers turn to when looking to quickly satisfy those with a sweet tooth!

An average sugar cookie consists of these ingredients: sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and either baking powder or baking soda. Each cookie racks up an average of 160 to 500 calories, depending on its size. According to Calorie King’s website, to burn off 160 calories alone, it would require about 45 minutes of walking, 18 minutes of running or 13 minutes of swimming.

However, as celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak says, it’s important to allow yourself a “cheat” day, but to remember moderation is key.

With that piece of fitness advice, we wanted to find a couple healthier options, so we can all have a taste of the sweet life without the guilt. We came across two options in our search that sound incredibly yummy and each recipe substitutes some of the standard ingredients with lighter, healthier options.

Here’s one way to indulge in your sweet tooth without letting go of your self-control!

And for those who may have Celiac disease, there is a gluten-free option for your taste buds to enjoy!

Once they pop out of the oven, allow them to cool and have a scrumptious National Sugar Cookie Day!

Kirby Brady, SANDAG Associate Research Analyst

San Diego nonprofits seek guidance on preparing for the future

by Lisa Bacon, Nutrition & Nonprofit Relations Supervisor

The face of hunger in San Diego County is ever changing. The recession brought with it a new group of people facing food insecurity. People who once held jobs but were laid off due to budget cuts. People who were forced to move in with family members or even live on the street because they could no longer afford their mortgage payments. People just like you and me. As the economy slowly recovers, social service agencies are wondering what’s next for their programs and the clients who receive services from them. On Wednesday, June 12, two research analysts from SANDAG came to talk to Food Bank staff members and nonprofit partners about their projections for what’s next in San Diego County. As first responders to the needs of people in San Diego County, it’s important that social service agencies always have their finger on the pulse of the community. SANDAG’s projections provided key information about what to expect in the next five, ten, and even forty years.

Key findings from SANDAG’s presentation included an emphasis on the County’s elderly population and the surge of “Baby Boomers” moving into retirement. This means that more people are available to volunteer for nonprofit organizations, and more people will also be living on fixed incomes with the potential need for services. Additionally, San Diego County is a minority-majority county, which means that no one race category makes up more than 50% of the population. The county’s racial and ethnic diversity means that clients have a variety of cultural and language needs.

With SANDAG’s guidance and expertise, the Food Bank and its valued partners are able to evaluate current services and build their future programs to best meet the needs of San Diego County’s most vulnerable populations. To learn more about SANDAG, please visit its website.

Food Drive at San DiegoCounty Libraries

San Diego Public Libraries Host Summer Food Drive

by Stephanie Schauer, Communications Associate

The Food Bank and the San Diego Public Library are teaming up to collect food donations at all 35 branch locations this summer! The food drive, Reading (and Feeding!) is so Delicious, will be hosted in association with the library’s “Reading is so Delicious” theme.

“The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank is very grateful to the San Diego Public Library System for hosting a food drive on our behalf. It is a very important time of year for the food bank to receive donations ahead of the summer months, when donations drop, but, while some low-income children continue to receive free school meals through the summer, many others do not and their parents are forced to turn to the Food Bank for help. We encourage the public to support the food drive to help us serve individuals and families in need,” said Food Bank President & CEO, James Floros.

Library visitors are encouraged to donate nonperishable food items. If San Diegans donate enough food to fill one barrel at each branch library, that will provide 7,000 pounds of food to help meet the needs of hungry neighbors.

Our most needed nonperishable food items include:
- Canned meats (tuna, ham, chicken)
- Canned vegetables
- Canned fruit
- Canned soup
- Canned beans
- Cereal
- Rice
- Peanut butter
- Pasta

Keep an eye out for the red bins at your neighborhood library from now until August 15th!

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