Since 1991, the Imperial Valley Food Bank has offered food to local families in need. We currently serve over 20,000 Imperial County residents per month. We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization recognized by the IRS.
We are proud to announce that Congressman Juan Vargas (D-51) has selected our Executive Director, Sara Griffen, as this year’s “Woman of the Year.” Congressman Vargas presented the award to Griffen in early March at the California Mid-winter Fair & Fiesta. The award is given annually as a way to acknowledge an extraordinary woman in the Imperial Valley community in honor of Women’s history month.
Griffen was lauded by the Congressman for her work to fight hunger in Imperial Valley and beyond. As Executive Director of the IVFB, Griffen oversees the organization’s mission of feeding the more than 31 percent of Imperial County residents who are impacted by hunger. Today, IVFB serves more than 20,000 people a month, representing 5,000 households or 12 percent of the county’s residents.
Since joining the organization in 2010, Griffen has expanded IVFB’s Backpack Program, which provides backpacks of food to children in 35 rural and city-center schools. Through a Feeding America/Wal-Mart Foundation grant, Griffen was able to begin a Mobile Food Bank that serves quality food to residents in remote areas such as Niland, Salton Sea, Bombay Beach, Ocotillo, and Winterhaven. Griffen continues to elevate awareness of programs like CalFresh and strives to expand IVFB’s ability to fight hunger throughout Imperial Valley.
Griffen was also an integral part of formalizing a unique partnership with Feeding America San Diego in 2011. Through this partnership, IVFB is able to order, receive, and distribute produce and resources through the Feeding America network. This partnership helps FASD bring more fresh produce from Imperial County into San Diego County and helps both organizations leverage resources, increase efficiency through shared transportation, and provide more food to those in need in San Diego and Imperial counties.
“It gives me great pleasure to honor Sara Griffen for her tremendous accomplishments,” said Congressman Vargas. “I have had the privilege of working alongside Sara for the past several years and it is hard to imagine a more dedicated and compassionate individual. Her tireless efforts to combat the heartbreaking tragedy of hunger plaguing the Imperial Valley are truly exceptional. I look forward to continue working with her towards a future where no man, woman, or child goes hungry.”