Food In Need of Distribution
Since its inception in 1983, FIND Food Bank has been a community-based organization run by and for the people. From our humble beginnings in the city of Cathedral City to now serving 5,000-square-miles of eastern Riverside and southern San Bernardino counties our mission has not changed – Let’s end hunger in the desert region.
Wayne Robinson Founds F.I.N.D.
Mr. Wayne Robinson saw the need for food throughout the Coachella Valley, and began delivering bread to homeless individuals throughout his neighborhood. He picked up food grocery stores were going to throw away and delivered it in his blue Pinto to individuals in need. Word got around, and Mr. Robinson began enlisting the help of religious organizations and volunteers to expand their operations to feed families and working individuals to make ends meet.
The Robinson Family
Three generations of the Robinson family return to FIND’s warehouse each year to celebrate Mr. Robinson’s birthday and carry on his tradition of volunteerism. Becky Robinson (pictured left) his youngest daughter was one of FIND’s first volunteers. His grandson remembers packing up bread in the blue Pinto when he was 14, and now it’s his 37th year volunteering to help FIND feed those in need.
FIND’s First Agency Partners
Temple Sinai in Palm Desert
For the last 30 years, a group of dedicated volunteers has packed pre-selected food from FIND’s warehouse to distribute to homebound older adults and seniors in Palm Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Indian Wells, Palm Springs, and La Quinta. Temple Sinai volunteers served approximately 800 people each month!
Program Directors Gail and Saul Jacobs recently retired and reminisced on their 28 years of service in a video interview with FIND.
St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Palm Springs
One of FIND’s original agency members, St. Theresa’s continues to feed their local community every Monday morning.
Blythe Emergency Food Pantry
With doors open five days a week, pantry owners Lloyd and Pat Hollingsworth would make the 3-hour drive to FIND’s warehouse in Indio to pick up all of the food they need. Today, FIND’s refrigerated trucks make the trek out to the Arizona border to deliver healthy food items.
FIND Moves to Indio
After FIND’s warehouse in Cathedral City burnt down in a tragic fire, the new warehouse facility and administrative offices was specifically designed to be a regional food bank. Now FIND Food Bank operates out of a 40,000 square-foot-warehouse with two industrial freezers and the largest sub-zero freezer in the Coachella Valley.
FIND’s Kids Summer Club Kicks-Off
Recognizing that 4 out of 5 children in the public school system in the valley qualify for free and reduced-price meals, FIND launched our Kids Summer Club to provide fresh produce for kids and healthy groceries to take home to the family. The Farmer’s Market-style distribution allowed kids to pick their fruits and vegetables while learning about nutrition to set them up to make healthy choices for a lifetime.
The Founding of FIND’s Giving Society
FIND’s Giving Society recognizes the commitment and support of FIND Food Bank’s most generous and community-minded investors. Members make a minimum annual donation of $1,000 or more each year for five years to ensure the sustainability of FIND’s programs in the community.
Anza Mobile Market Opens
During the Anza Mountain Fires of 2019, FIND delivered emergency assistance to residents who lost power, water, and for some, their homes. Realizing that people faced food insecurity year-round, FIND opened a mobile market that serves Anza residents once every month. Instead of driving long distances, sometimes to Temecula, to access quality groceries, families can instead rely on FIND’s trucks to deliver grocery staples to last a couple of weeks.
FIND Food Bank Opens New Branch in Hi-Desert
FIND expanded into the Hi-Desert to aid Morongo Basin food pantries and soup kitchens operating in ‘food deserts,’ meaning they had to travel long distances to pick up healthy food for local clients. The distribution center stores healthy food at the Morongo Basin Healthcare District campus in Yucca Valley and serves nine of FIND’s member agencies.
FIND Food Bank serves over 20 million meals to 150,000+ people on average each month through a robust network of 150 distribution sites, including old and new community agency partners and FIND’s mobile markets. FIND is the largest hunger-relief organization utilizing 17 commercial vehicles to reach over 5,000-square-miles of the desert region to rescue and redistribute healthy food to anyone in need.