FIND’s COVID-19 Response
- Before the COVID-19 shutdowns came into effect in March, we served approximately 90,000 residents of the Desert Region each month.
- Now, we are serving 190,000+ individuals each month. Feeding America data estimates that about 40% of our clients have never visited a food bank before the pandemic outbreak.
- When our community agency partners had to shut their doors, we responded by creating 26 free Rapid Response (R2) mobile markets. Now clients can drive-thru our food distribution sites while volunteers pack their trunks with a nutritious variety of fruits, veggies, protein, and non-perishable goods.
- Approximately 60,000 of those seeking food assistance are students.
- Over 83% of our children across all three school districts in the Desert Region qualify for free or reduced lunch (FRL).
- FIND rescues and distributes over 20 million pounds of food per year! However, Feeding America estimates that their national network of food banks will be about $1.5 billion short in resources this next year to meet the increase in demand for food assistance.
Frequently Asked Questions of FIND Food Bank:
(1) What is FIND?
FIND is “Food In Need of Distribution,” which is our formal incorporated name.
We operate as FIND Food Bank — the Desert’s Regional Food Bank — and the area’s hub for information and action related to hunger and food insecurity.
(2) How long has FIND been in business?
FIND was established in 1983, which means we are celebrating 36 years of service in 2019!
(3) What is FIND’s service area?
In short, we serve from Banning to Blythe, east to west, and from Landers to Salton City, north to south. This encompasses eastern Riverside County and southern San Bernardino County in southern California. That totals to 5,000 square miles!
(4) Where does FIND get food to distribute?
From a number of sources, including:
- Local and regional growers
- Local grocers and warehouse stores
- Local food drives
- Corporate partners such as Kraft, Cargill, General Mills, and ConAgra
- USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)
- Small purchases of key products to fulfill our feeding programs
Please Note: All donated food is checked for expiration dates, sorted,
and then placed into FIND Food Bank inventory for distribution.
(5) How is the food distributed?
FIND partners with community-based organizations across eastern Riverside and southern San Bernardino Counties to distribute food to those who need it. Please visit Services Page to learn more about where and when food is being distributed in your area.
(6) How do I become a FIND Food Bank distribution partner?
FIND Food Bank has a rigorous application process for community-based organizations that are interested in joining our food-assistance distribution network. Please contact FIND if you are interested in learning how to become a distribution partner.
(7) How many people are served by FIND and their partner network?
FIND Food Bank and our partners distribute food assistance to an average of 85,000 individuals each month.
(8) How does FIND address food safety and nutrition?
We operate our warehouse under strict food-safety guidelines and are continuously working to increase the nutritional value of the food assistance we offer, including as much fresh produce as possible. About 50% of the meals we distribute are fresh produce!
(9) How can I help fight hunger in the Coachella Valley?
There are many ways to help — and to begin, we thank you for taking action!
We would be remiss if we didn’t point out that an obvious way to help fight hunger in the Coachella Valley is to donate dollars to the cause.
Something else you can do is keep hunger in the conversation — we need as many people as possible to know about and act to end hunger — in a country as rich in resources as the US, no one should go hungry.
If you’re more inclined to immediate action, start a food drive in your neighborhood or donate next time you see a drop-box at your local church or grocer. Better yet, challenge your friends, family, business associates, etc. to a virtual food drive, which takes food drives to a new level in cyberspace!
(10) How does my donation help FIND Food Bank?
Quite simply, your donation feeds hungry people. Donated dollars extend the reach of FIND Food Bank in fighting hunger across the Coachella Valley, helping us make our very limited resources go as far as possible. We pride ourselves on having minimal fundraising expenses so as much of every dollar as possible can go to providing food for those who need it.
(11) Why should I support FIND Food Bank?
FIND Food Bank is the primary source of food assistance for those who find themselves in need — the help can be for a child, a homebound senior, a working-class family, or someone staying in a homeless shelter. When you support FIND, you are offering your help to all those we serve.
Remember — HUNGER does not discriminate.
Hunger knows no age limits.
Hunger knows no boundaries.
FIND knows Hunger.
Please Help If You Can
(12) Does FIND need volunteers?
Volunteers are always needed at FIND! Volunteers are the heart of what happens at FIND. Please visit Volunteer Page to learn more.
(13) What is “food insecurity”?
Food insecurity means that people do not have, at all times, the physical and/or economic access to adequate amounts of nutritious, safe, culturally appropriate foods.
In many ways, America is the land of plenty. But for 1 in 5 people in the Coachella Valley, food insecurity is a reality. Many people believe that the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the community, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different.
Right now, thousands of our area residents and neighbors struggle with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, school-aged children, and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet; some go without food for several meals or even days at a time.
(14) What’s the difference between a food bank, a food pantry, and a soup kitchen?
A food bank is a hub to a designated region that ensures a sufficient amount of food is available and accessible to all our partnering agencies whose main focus is to distribute food assistance directly to those in need. Not all food-distribution programs are food banks; FIND is the only food bank serving our region.
A food pantry or a soup kitchen is an example of a food-distribution program with whom a food bank partners to meet the food bank’s mission to ensure sufficient emergency and supplemental food assistance is available within their service area.
(15) What is a “virtual food drive”?
A virtual food drive is the wave of the food-drive future! And it’s a way to make your dollars go even further in the fight against hunger.
You will be able to donate to a food drive without having to leave the comfort of your home or office — and no clumsy cans to clunk around that you’re always forgetting to drop in the donation bin at the grocery!
You purchase food through our web site (coming soon!), adding nutritious, high-demand, food-assistance products to your “shopping cart” that will be distributed to our partner agencies and on to those in need.