From left: Sante Health CEO Scott Wells, Central California Food Bank Co-CEO Kym Dildine, Sante Health Director of Marketing Kelly Lilles, and Central California Food Bank Co-CEO Natalie Caples
Written by Ben Hensley
The Central California Food Bank announced today that a large donation from the Sante Health Foundation was made toward the construction of a new facility aimed at expanding volunteer work, the reach of the food bank and providing more storage and work space.
The donation of $401,236 was generated by a charity benefit hosted by Sante on April 23.
“As of today, we are so blessed to say that between the $350,000 that we’ve given in the past, over 14 years, with this check today that we’ll be giving, we’re going to be totaling over $750,000,” said Kelly Lilles, Sante Health director of marketing, physician services and education.
The 20,000-square-foot Volunteer Center will be constructed on the property of the food bank, and will house space for volunteers, storage, offices for food bank staff and a 1,200 square foot USDA certified protein repack facility – the first of its kind on the West Coast.
The center will host the more than 6,000 annual volunteers to the food bank and will provide additional space for volunteer storage, restrooms, and other more up-to-date features.
The project will cost a total of $4.5 million, all of which has been secured, with Sante providing a large amount of the donation, in addition to donations made from anonymous donors.
“Volunteers are at the heart of what we do,” said Natalie Caples, Co-CEO of the Central California Food Bank. “They are connected to Central California Food Bank’s mission, they are fierce and consistent supporters, and we could not feed the one-in-four individuals [suffering from food insecurity] and over 350,000 neighbors every single month without their support.”
Caples went on to add the importance of functional space will help volunteers’ packing ability, increasing their reach for the food bank’s programs, such as their Backpack Program, Groceries-to-Go and Senior Hunger Programs.
“We’re very blessed,” said Lilles. “Sante physicians are proud to be a part of Sante, and I am proud to be a part of Sante and a proud partner of the Central California Food Bank.”
The food bank hopes to see the Volunteer Center completed by summer of 2023, with a groundbreaking scheduled this September.
Sante Health Foundation has over 450 healthcare providers in the Valley serving over 30 locations and 1 million patients annually.
Individuals who want to donate to the Central California Food Bank may do so at their website.