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Expanding Services for the Hungry 

Redwood Empire Food Bank gets new location, partners with women's shelter

The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) recently received a letter from Bob and Joan Schmidt, volunteer chefs at the Living Room, a daytime drop-in shelter for women and children without homes. They thanked the REFB for playing a significant role in helping the Living Room provide 25,000 annual meals for the women and children they serve.

Bob and Joan wrote, "Last Friday, we put out a lunch for approximately 70 ladies and children. The lunch consisted of a caesar salad, bread rolls, sliced baked beef tri-tips, roasted red potatoes with basil pesto glaze, corn on the cob, baked creamed onions and a large cake. The cost was under $8 for the entire meal. That comes out to around 11 cents a meal. Wow! We love the Redwood Empire Food Bank."

The living Room is just one of the 166 nonprofit and faith-based organizations that the Redwood Empire Food Bank partners with. At the Living Room, we met Christina and her two young children. Christina told us that her unemployment insurance had run out, and that her children ate hot meals because of the Food Bank's work with the Living Room. Through the determined efforts of our partners, and our own programs, Christina and her children are just three of the 78,000 people we feed every month.

Hunger has never been more present among so many in our community, and the REFB serves 45 percent more people than we did five years ago. With the generous support of our community, we've raised the funds necessary to purchase a new home at 3990 Brickway Blvd., in Santa Rosa, which enables the REFB to better serve hunger relief efforts for decades to come.

The public is invited to learn more by visiting or calling 707.523.7900.

Miriam Hodgman is the communications director for the redwood Empire Food Bank.Open Mic is a weekly op/ed feature in the Bohemian. We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write

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