Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Food Bank offers a lifeline

DSC_3589 ec

NEW DIGS — Bill Sullivan, left, and Food Bank manager Mike Sproull go through donations in their new office donated by Wells Fargo. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

By
From page B1 | November 23, 2012 | Leave Comment

The Food Bank of El Dorado County was born out of a request by a father to his son.

Founded in 2000 by Mike Sproull, he said he started it after his father asked him to do something good for the community.

Sproull said after looking around, he found there was no food bank in El Dorado County, so he created one. Now after 12 years, he says it’s the biggest charity in the county, distributing on a yearly basis nearly 1.7 million pounds of food worth almost $3 million. On a monthly basis, it helps feed 8,000 to 12,000 people in the county.

Operating with a lean staff of only six people, the Food Bank manages to be effective because it can draw on the help of hundreds of volunteers. “El Dorado County is a very giving community,” said Sproull.

Sproull said their operating budget is only about $550,000. “We take dollar donations and leverage it with volunteers so people get a five-to one return on their donations. That’s why people donate. They get a lot of bang for their buck.

“We don’t have government grants. Donors provide us with 80 percent of our budget. That way we don’t have all our eggs in one basket. It’s truly a community agency.”

Recently the organization did its largest mail campaign, sending out a direct mail piece to 89,000 residents. “The return is usually very good,” said Sproull. “This is how we build our donor base.”

Networking food

The Food Bank doesn’t directly provide food. Instead it is a collection and clearing house.

On a daily basis, they field 50 to 75 calls for assistance. The staff then refer people to partner charities that receive the food collected by the Food Bank. In some cases, people get groceries. In other cases, a hot meal, which is served in Placerville, Pollock Pines, or South Lake Tahoe. They also deliver emergency food assistance to homebound residents.

Partner agencies include emergency food closets, soup kitchens, maternity homes, abused women and children’s shelters, drug and alcohol transitional houses, homeless shelters, children’s programs, service clubs, school programs, and others.

Sproull said they collect food in different ways. They operate a food rescue route that visits 10 to 12 grocery stores every morning. During the route, they pick up roughly 2 tons of food that are within a few days of their expiration date. They also get food from the USDA, senior gleaners, and others. Then the food is distributed to different social service organizations and charities spread throughout the county.

“People don’t understand the magnitude of what we do,” he said.

In addition, the Food Bank has a storage facility with another $200,000 to $300,000 worth of goods.

He said over the last two years he has seen a 30 to 35 percent increase in the need for their help.

“The people we are seeing are a new population. Not the regular people living in poverty. Because of the economy, they are having to ask for help.”

He said when he visits distribution sites, he gets to know the people coming for assistance. “They are the working poor,” he said. “With the cost of fuel and food, it doesn’t work anymore.” But he says the purpose of the agency is not to sustain people but rather to subsidize them until they can get back on their feet.

Moving forward

“We’re good stewards and that’s why we’re in the position we’re in,” said Sproull. “While other charities are struggling, we’re ready to move forward.”

Part of that moving forward includes moving to new administrative offices. On Nov. 15, the Food Bank held a grand opening at its new offices at 3291 Coach Lane in Cameron Park, A vacant building owned by Wells Fargo & Co., the bank is allowing them to use the facility for four years, rent free. Sproull said he even convinced the bank to leave the outside ATM machine intact so that people can use it to slip a donation through the slot.

Another arena they are contemplating moving into is providing family services along with food. “For people who want to get out of the rut they’re in, we want to help them work with other social service agencies.” One way of doing that is rolling out a new food pantry which is equipped to provide 200 families with groceries. He envisions distribution sites for food that are paired up with social service agencies so people can get the assistance they need at one time.

More than just providing people with food, however, Sproull says the agency gives people a lifeline.

“Being hungry is one thing. Being alone is another. The Food Bank gives them hope and lets them know that we’re there for them. We provide hope to people. At Christmas time, we feed 1,000 people at the fairgrounds. They see community leaders there and realize, they aren’t alone and there are people who care about them.”

For people needing assistance from the Food Bank or who want to donate time or money, they agency can be reached at 530-621-9950. More information is available on their Website foodbankedc.org.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

 
Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 6 Comments

 
.

Letters

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 15 Comments

Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 6 Comments

 
Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 29 Comments

Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

 
.

Sports

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

 
First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments