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On September 26, 60 food bankers representing 30 member food banks converged at CAFB's Annual Member Meeting in Oakland’s historic Preservation Park. In addition to electing five new members to the CAFB Board of Directors, attendees had the opportunity to network with their peers and hear about innovative programs happening across the state.

The meeting provided a welcome opportunity for our members to take a pause and reflect on the important work they are doing.  We celebrated our successes in CalFood funding and public policy but also acknowledged there is much more work to be done to end hunger in California.

Attendees heard from our members, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and Community Action Partnership of Orange County Food Bank, who are developing models of collaboration to ensure that CalFresh-eligible individuals and families have access to nutritious food.  Through meetings and shared resources, CalFresh outreach providers in Orange County are working together to ensure that those in need receive accurate information and timely assistance. Also, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County shared how its communications teams is increasing its advocacy capacity and sharing messages with important elected officials. 

Additionally, the meeting featured our Imagine No Hunger specialty license plate campaign. With the pre-sale of 7,500 orders, the specialty license plate will be established and provide funds directly to our member food banks across the state. Attendees were excited about this opportunity and discussed ideas around how to reach the pre-sale target, such as purchasing plates as donor and volunteer gifts.

The meeting concluded with the release and discussion on a report prepared for CAFB on the response of our affected member food banks in the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires and mudslides in both Northern and Southern California.  The report can be read here.  Attendees divided up into small group discussions to discuss key recommendations from the report and how food banks can better prepare for the next disaster.

The day offered food banks a chance to come together to share ideas and address challenges. Through innovation and continuing effort, we can end hunger in California, together.