Leaders in Sonoma Valley have joined together to launch a broad-based coalition to ensure all Sonoma Valley residents are food secure during the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter-in-place order.
The goal of the new Sonoma Valley Food Security Task Force is to bring together Valley leaders to work collaboratively to mitigate the challenges faced by our community over the coming weeks and months from the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The Task Force will leverage the organizational capacity and expertise of non-profit organizations that currently serve Valley residents through increased resources and greater coordination. The Task Force has set a specific goal of shoring up food security.
The Sonoma Valley Food Security Task Force is being coordinated by City of Sonoma Mayor Logan Harvey, Kimberly Blattner, Alcaldessa 2020 and Board President of La Luz Center, Veronica Napoles with the Springs Community Alliance, and Jennifer Gray Thompson, Executive Director of the Rebuild North Bay Foundation, and includes leaders from multiple local organizations, including (but not limited to) Redwood Empire Food Bank, Vintage House, Meals on Wheels, Friends In Sonoma Helping (F.I.S.H.), La Luz Center, Rebuild North Bay Foundation, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sustainable Sonoma, Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, and more. This effort will support the residents of Sonoma Valley, from Schellville to Kenwood.
The focus of the Task Force will be to significantly increase funding resources for local non-profit organizations that provide food programs and other basic needs services and to shore up the volunteer networks that will be needed to ensure that food is promptly and properly distributed throughout the valley.
The Task Force is leading a campaign to raise funds to support local food security programs. By going now to www.sonomacity.org/food-security, community members can learn more about how to financially support the work of key service providers such as Redwood Empire Food Bank, F.I.S.H., La Luz Center, and SOS/The Haven.
The majority of Sonoma Valley’s existing volunteer base is made up of dedicated residents aged 60 years and older, who have a higher risk from COVID-19. With many regular volunteers unable to fulfill their normal roles, local organizations have struggled to find replacements. As the need for services surges as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the need for new volunteer support is immediate and acutely felt in Sonoma Valley.
Led by Sonoma Ecology Center and Sustainable Sonoma, the Task Force has launched a volunteer web page at SonomaValleyVolunteers.org to help match organizations and volunteers to meet the Sonoma Valley community’s evolving needs. Sonoma Valley Volunteers will allow volunteers to sign up to help with the organizations of their choice. The website will be regularly updated with new volunteer opportunities.
“When we work together, we accomplish far more. Sonoma Valley organizations have experience in serving our community during disasters. While the length of this pandemic is unknown, the commitment to our community is certain. Together, we can flatten the curve, inspire a new generation of volunteers, and ensure that the needs of our non-profits are taken care of” said Mayor Harvey.
Updates and links to task force resources will be available on the City’s website at www.sonomacity.org/coronavirus-resources and via email notifications from the City of Sonoma. Subscribe to receive e-newsletters at www.sonomacity.org/subscribe.
List of organizations that are part of the initial Task Force discussions:
- Vintage House
- Sonoma Valley Unified School District
- Sonoma Valley Education Foundation
- La Luz Center
- Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH)
- SOS/The Haven
- Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Sonoma Ecology Center
- Sustainable Sonoma
- Rebuild North Bay
- Impact 100
- Volunteer Center of Sonoma County
- Meals on Wheels
Additional Redwood Empire Food Bank partners:
- Village Green II Senior Apartments
- Oak Ridge
- First Congregational Church
- St. Leo’s Church
Public sector partners include the City of Sonoma, Supervisor Susan Gorin, State Senator Bill Dodd, and Congressman Mike Thompson.