2016 california nonprofit of the year award

Imperial Valley Food Bank is proud to be a 2016 California Nonprofit of the Year! Thank you to our board, staff and the community for all the work you do to make us a success.

Capital Campaign

Capital Campaign: Building, Feeding, Thriving

Campaign Summary

Imperial Valley is one of the most productive farming regions in the U.S., ranking in the top 10 percent of all agricultural sales. Yet the percentage of children going hungry here ranks among the worst 10 percent of all counties in America. Thousands of our residents — veterans, seniors, people with disabilities as well as children — are going without the nutritious meals they need each day. Imperial County is challenged to end this vicious cycle of food insecurity, and the Imperial Valley Food Bank is leading the way.

A Beacon of Hope: Imperial Valley’s Food Resource

Since 1991, Imperial Valley Food Bank has been combatting hunger by gathering, storing, and distributing quality foods throughout the Imperial Valley. Partnering with neighboring organizations has allowed IVFB to extend its reach and provide quality, nutritious food to a community that is greatly in need. Our mission is to ensure that all residents have access to nutritionally valuable foods, gain the nutritional education needed to become self-reliant, make healthier food choices, and improve the quality of life within our community.

“Fighting Hunger – Bringing Health and Hope to the Imperial Valley”



Imperial Valley

Per Capita Income (2014)



Median Household Income (2013)



Unemployment (2015)




Campaign to Feed Imperial County

After two years of research and planning, we launched a $6 million capital campaign to build a new, larger facility that will expand our ability to safely store and provide food to those experiencing hunger in the Imperial Valley. The 28,000-square-foot facility will feature modern loading docks, freezer and food storage space to ensure food safety, teaching and gardening areas, and plentiful parking in a central location in Imperial Business Park with easy access by public transportation. The larger facility will enable us to accept produce donations from our generous agricultural community that we currently are not equipped to store.

As the central resource for all food donations in the Imperial Valley, the Food Bank serves 20,000 people per month, a number that has tripled since the recession in 2008. In partnership with nearly 100 non-profit human service agencies, schools, and churches, we play a crucial role in providing fresh, frozen, canned, and boxed food to those struggling to meet basic needs and/or on fixed incomes.

The Food Bank is the central distribution point for food going to nearly 100 agencies, schools, and churches in Calexico, Brawley, El Centro, Holtville, and the city of Imperial. The food comes from the USDA Food Assistance Program, Feeding America, local growers, and other sources.

The Food Bank's Mobile Food Pantry provides fresh fruit and vegetables and education to the most rural and poorest communities in the Imperial Valley. The Weekend Backpacks for Kids program partners with 35 schools to distribute more than 600 backpacks full of kid-friendly, nutritious food for the weekend. IVFB also maintains a Disaster Preparedness program. Through these programs and others we distribute 3 to 4 million pounds of food each year to those most in need.

Meeting the Demand: The Time is Now

Three key factors led to the decision to build a new facility:

  1. The current warehouse capacity and limitations
  2. More stringent national food safety regulations, and
  3. Sustainability at the current location.

The current facilities lack adequate cold and frozen storage space, loading docks, covered unloading areas, shelf space, food security, parking for volunteers and visitors, and space to educate the community regarding sound nutrition and purchasing strategies to stretch limited funds. New food safety regulations for food banks will make the current facility non-compliant in 2018. The costs to retrofit the existing facility to attempt to comply with the new food safety regulations were considered prohibitive, compounded by the uncertainty that the county lease would be renewed. Furthermore, the county’s approved expansion plans for the county jail and other county buildings adjacent to the current Food Bank site will not allow for the expansion of the Food Bank.

The Imperial Valley Food Bank has operated for 25 fiscally strong years. Our leadership has determined over the course of nearly two years of planning and research that now is the time to build a new facility to meet the food insecurity demands of today and tomorrow.

Our new, 30,000 square-foot facility will include a 22,000 square-foot warehouse that is substantially larger than our current warehouse and will feature three truck loading docs, ample cold and frozen storage to ensure food safety, community teaching spaces, and improved access including ample parking and public transportation.

Capital Campaign

To fund the move to a new, larger facility, the Board of Directors of the Food Bank launched a $6 million capital campaign, with gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations. The campaign will provide the capital needed to build and furnish the facility, as well as a $1 million endowment to ensure continued maintenance and program support. Fortunately, the purchase of a 3-acre parcel of land has been supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. Strong financial commitments of local support will increase our opportunities to secure additional funding from sources outside of the Valley.

Nourishing Our Community Through Your Support

The capital campaign will require the commitment and financial support of those who share the Food Bank’s commitment and vision of reducing food insecurity and providing nutrition education throughout Imperial Valley. Friends and volunteers, businesses and corporations, community organizations, philanthropists, and foundations will all be crucial participants in this campaign. With increased capacity, we will be able to accept and distribute more food, especially produce and frozen goods, expand inventory, raise nutritional awareness, and above all, provide more food to those who need it most now and for generations to come.