News Flash


Posted on: November 1, 2019

Food Distribution Events Provide Groceries to 3000+ Residents

Food distribution event

Food Distribution Events Provide Groceries to More than 3,000 Santa Rosa Residents Impacted by Power Shutoffs and Kincade Fire Evacuations

Santa Rosa, CA – More than 3,000 residents were provided free groceries during two consecutive days of food distribution organized by the City of Santa Rosa and in partnership with R.O.C. Sonoma County, Catholic Charities, the American Red Cross, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Community Action Partnership, and Santa Rosa Firefighters Local 1401.

The food distribution events were held on Thursday, October 31 at Finley Community Center and Friday, November 1 at the Fire Department Training Tower where Santa Rosa residents impacted by the power shutoff and Kincade Fire evacuations were invited to come and pick up food items to help replenish their refrigerators and pantries.

A combined total of 31,000 pounds of food was distributed to 3,160 residents between Thursday and Friday. Residents receiving the benefit have been without power for multiple days, and/or were displaced by the Kincade Fire evacuations, and/or lost wages as a result of their place of employment being closed due to evacuation orders or loss of power.

“Our residents suffered a major disruption to their lives this past week. It was uncomfortable, traumatic and created a financial burden for many,” said Mayor Tom Schwedhelm. “Filling refrigerators won’t make our residents whole from the recent events, but it definitely helps and was the right thing to do. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to each resident who took the time to selflessly donate food items and to our community partners who acted quickly to help make the events happen – their actions make me proud to live in Santa Rosa.”

Much of the food was donated by the community partners involved in the events. Additionally, food donations were also requested from community members to ensure enough food was available to distribute to those in need. Hundreds of residents responded to that request both event days dropping off trunk loads of food donations at a time to support fellow Santa Rosa residents. 

“This was an amazing community gathering and we are very grateful to the City of Santa Rosa for hosting the event and assisting with the logistics of serving thousands of people in need,” said R.O.C. Sonoma County Co-Chair Jennielynn Holmes. “In addition to the amazing event volunteers and community donations, the success of serving this many members of our community would never have been possible without the American Red Cross and Santa Rosa Firefighters Local 1401 stepping in to cover the cost of a majority of the food that was given away.”

Additional Emergency Food Distributions Coordinated by the Redwood Empire Food Bank

The Redwood Empire Food Bank has deployed its emergency response program, Station 3990, to assist residents impacted by the power shutoff and/or Kincade Fire evacuations with food replenishment. Residents who were unable to make yesterday or today’s food distribution events may refer to the following website which is continually being updated as new food distributions are confirmed for Santa Rosa as well as other impacted jurisdictions:

Watch a video recapping the two food distribution events below:

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