SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — After nearly 50 years, the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services (SFBFS) is closing its campus on Third Avenue in Oak Park. It's a nonprofit organization with a mission to end hunger.
"We have decided to consolidate to one campus," said SFBFS CEO and president, Blake Young. "Our primary responsibility is to supply food to approximately 140 agencies throughout the county who, in return, provides food to individual people or families."
The Oak Park location will close by the end of the year. By that time, SFBFS will only be operating from the campus on Bell Avenue in North Sacramento.
When the COVID pandemic hit, the organization temporarily closed some programs and services at the campus in Oak Park; including adult learning, parent education, clothing distribution, and technology services.
Now, those services will be gone for good. Other programs, including Immigration Legal Services, Refugee Resettlement Services, utility assistance, and baby food and diaper distribution, will continue operating from the Food Bank campus.
"We're going to lean on our partners who do wonderful work in adult education, technology, and career center work to pick up the slack," said Young. "This will allow us to really focus on our food bank work."
One in five people living in Sacramento experience hunger, according to SFBFS. The organization also says the number of food insecure people in Sacramento County has increased since early 2020 due to the pandemic, rising costs of living, and other factors.
"It certainly is a loss for the community in Oak Park," said Greater Sacramento Urban League CEO and president, Dwayne Crenshaw. "We will be doing more programming around health and wellness for youth, mental health, and bringing more of our jobs and career services to Oak Park."
The closing will mostly impact communities of color and low-income families. Kevin Carter lives in Oak Park and relied on the food bank in the past during hard times. He wants the food bank, along with other program services, to remain available in the neighborhood.
"Don't take what works in Oak Park out of Oak Park," said Carter. "Times are not getting better, they're getting worse. Folks that live in Oak Park are going to be left out of what could be possible for them to have in Oak Park, not just the food, but the other resources."