By Susan Olson, Director of Development
Recently, I met with Ryan Caldwell, CEO of Wacker Wealth Partners, at his new office space on Broad Street in San Luis Obispo. Ryan and I chatted about Wacker Wealth’s recent move and the fact that we are now neighbors. Wacker Wealth Partners is in a beautiful building just down the street from us near the San Luis Obispo County Airport.
Our visit that day was an opportunity to catch Ryan up on changes at the Food Bank. Ryan asked some great questions about the food needs in SLO County. We discussed the number of people needing food assistance. Many people are not aware that 1 in 6 individuals in our county are food insecure. We talked about the many volunteers that quietly help with this need and how this work slips by under the radar. I feel the best way for people understand about the scope of work the Food Bank does is to have them come and see for themselves. I invited Ryan to visit our warehouse.
Some people think about a Food Bank and visualize a food pantry that hands out boxes of food to people who knock on the door. When people visit our 20,000 square foot warehouse with 3 tiers of racking and a refrigerator and freezer that take up the whole back wall, they begin to understand that this is a big operation. After watching dozens of volunteers put together food bags for distributions and seeing some of our over 80 Agency Partners picking up food to cook or hand out, everyone realizes that it takes many people working together to fight hunger.
On the Wacker Wealth Partner’s Website you read, “We believe a thriving community is built upon selfless endeavors – the giving of oneself for the benefit of others. That is why we are pleased to give of ourselves, in time, service, and resources, to organizations doing great work for the benefit of others in both our local community and beyond.”
Ryan visited the warehouse and held a staff meeting in our conference room. Soon after, his team made the decision to sponsor the Food Bank’s “Hope for the Holiday” 2018 Campaign. This sponsorship did not stop at writing the $2,500 check. Wacker Wealth Partners is supporting us this holiday season by matching the staff’s monetary giving to the Food Bank up to $750 per person. They are also giving staff paid time off to volunteer in our warehouse. Ryan is periodically sharing our blog with his team. Many blog entries feature clients who use our food assistance. Reading our blog helps foster understanding that everyone has their own unique story and there are many reasons and circumstances that bring people to food distributions.
Ryan says, “It’s easy to forget that so many of our neighbors don’t have enough food to eat. Food! The Food Bank is on a mission to end hunger in SLO County. Let’s all chip in!” Thank you to Ryan and Wacker Wealth Partners for giving your time, service, resources and advocacy in order to make the holidays better for many of our friends in SLO County.