Food Bank

The Elk Grove Food Bank staff at their Dino Drive facility in 2010. 

The Elk Grove Food Bank could receive $4 million in state funding, according to a plan made possible by the California Legislature’s June 13 approval of the state budget.

This plan to assist the Food Bank was spearheaded by Assembly Member Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, who serves as chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration.

Cooper said in a press statement that the funding would be used to pay for a permanent location for the services of the local Food Bank that currently rents three facilities.

“Funding to relocate the Elk Grove Food Bank to a larger and more accessible location is vital to families struggling with hunger and to the homeless in our area,” he stated.

The Food Bank’s current facility on Dino Drive does not have sufficient space for its storage and food distribution operations and other programming.

Cooper added that the potential funding for the Food Bank is dependent on the approval of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“I am very encouraged by this year’s budget and am especially proud of the investments the (state) Legislature passed to support Elk Grove, and am hopeful Gov. Newsom will also support this investment,” the assemblyman wrote.

Marie Jachino, executive director of Elk Grove Food Bank Services, told the Citizen that news of the pending state funding is a “dream come true” for the Food Bank.

“I’m at a loss for words,” she said. “I have put it out there over and over that we needed a (new) facility and someone finally listened and they realized that there really is a need here in Elk Grove. There really are hungry people, including senior people in Elk Grove.

“(The reality of the potential funding) hasn’t hit me yet, but it’s just amazing. I’m just excited beyond belief.”

Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly praised Cooper.

“The city is grateful to Assembly Member Cooper for his continuing commitment to the Elk Grove Food Bank, (which) serves a critically important role for thousands of men, women and children in our community every month,” he said.

“This funding, coupled with the ongoing support provided by the city and other local organizations, will go a long way toward establishing a permanent facility to serve those in Elk Grove who need these services the most.”

Jachino, who was initially informed of the possible funding on June 11, shared her appreciation for Cooper, as well as the Elk Grove community.

“I just can’t thank Assembly Member Cooper enough,” she said. “When he talked to me on the phone, he said he lives in Elk Grove and really wanted to help us find a permanent home. And I thank the city of Elk Grove, also.”

Although Newsom has not yet approved the funding, Jachino said that she has received assurance that the Food Bank is likely to receive those funds.

“I don’t count on anything until I actually know for sure that this is a done deal, but they seemed 95% sure it’s going to be signed, possibly this weekend, but no later than next Thursday, (June 20),” she said.

Jachino added that there is no plan where the Food Bank would operate its new facility, but that she hopes it could remain in the eastern part of Elk Grove.