Spring 2024: Strengthening Community & Partnerships

With the rainy season over, we can officially declare it is Spring in Berkeley! The team at Berkeley Food Network has been busy the past few months laying the groundwork for a year of growth and supporting our community with healthy, nutritious groceries.

Read our latest newsletter below to see what we’ve been up to the last few months:

Spring 2024

Now in our seventh year of serving the community, BFN has reached a new level of maturity and adaptability. Everything that Berkeley Food Network has set out to accomplish over the last year – providing food assistance with dignity, offering seasonal, nutritious foods, and decreasing barriers to food access – has been a remarkable success, thanks to the support of our community.

Word has spread about our achievements as we are playing an increasingly important role in the East Bay food system. As the largest direct food assistance organization in Northern Alameda County, we have a responsibility to our neighbors to become a resilient, sustainable, and reliable source of food when our community needs it most. And we are making good on our promises.

BFN has expanded on a long-time partnership with Berkeley Public Schools Fund and Berkeley Unified School District to offer mobile pantries at elementary and middle schools throughout the district. After four successful pilot pantries, we are happy to share that we will be operating these family-friendly and accessible distributions year-round! 

We have recently partnered with local organizations to receive referrals to our home grocery delivery program designed to support our most vulnerable neighbors – seniors, individuals with health or mobility challenges, and families with young children. Our member list has nearly doubled in the last 6 months with more households being referred weekly. As the items we are procuring in our warehouse grows–donated coffee from Highwire, fresh bread from Acme, produce from Berkeley Bowl, and hygiene products from Ridwell–more organizations are reaching out to partner with us.

We’re expanding our network of business supporters as well. We recently became the Visit Berkeley official non-profit partner, raising awareness of our mission and food insecurity and creating opportunities for community members and local businesses to support our efforts through incredible events like Berkeley Restaurant Week. 

Berkeley Food Network has successfully grown from a small, start-up food hub into a reliable source of healthy food for our neighbors and a pillar of support in Berkeley. While we continue to support record numbers of community members each week, we are actively transitioning our organization into a resilient, sustainable organization that will continue to be there for Berkeleyans in need for years to come.

And we hope you, our generous community, will also continue to be there for BFN for years to come! BFN’s growth over the last year in addition to our many successes in the first few months of 2024 wouldn’t be possible without you–our champions, donors, volunteers, partners, and supporters in the community. We hope you will continue to follow along with our evolution and join us in helping build the organization that our community needs. 

Yours in partnership,

Andrew Crispin
Executive Director