Food Banks: Where to locate them in your community

A growing number of people in our country are struggling to make ends meet. Because of this, families are increasingly turning to their local food banks, charities and congregations for help. In an effort to combat hunger in California communities, food banks are available to families to provide them with nutritional items. California food banks store food and transport it to many not-for-profit organizations throughout the state including churches, schools and soup kitchens. Families can visit these different organizations and receive quality ingredients to help keep their loved ones healthy and fed.

Every county houses a different food bank and the community organizations distributing food vary as well. To get more information about these organizations, we urge you to contact your local food bank. If you have children you can check with their school to find the nearest food bank. Churches are also a great place to go for information.

A Holiday meal for you and your family:

If you have found yourself struggling to be able to provide your family with a holiday meal, many local charities and food banks offer families warm dinners on their premises. To find out more information, contact your local food bank about where a meal like this can be found.

How to qualify:

Each food bank has their own rules and qualifications for providing food to families. For some food banks, the only qualification for assistance is a need for food. Contact your local food bank to ask what qualifications they require.

Who qualifies?

According to the California Association of Food Banks, anyone in need; low income families with children, the unemployed, disabled residents, senior citizens, low income individuals with a chronic illness, teens at risk, the mentally ill and the homeless can qualify for food assistance.

What kind of food is given away?

Much of what is distributed is fresh produce, dairy products, and frozen meats. Food banks also have canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, fruit juices, cereal, soup and many other types of nonperishable foods.

Where can I find my Local Food Bank?

Please visit the California Association of Food Banks’ website at Once there, click on the link “Find a food bank” in the upper right-hand corner. There, you will find a map of California. Click on your county, and the website for your county’s food bank will open. You can also call the California Association of Food Banks at 1 (510) 350- 9920. To assist you in finding your nearest food bank, we have provided a list of counties with the phone number to their food bank.