Central California Food Bank gets funds to create dedicated volunteer center

Construction on the new 'Sante Volunteer Center' will start in September.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central California Food Bank is growing as it takes action to feed people in the Valley.

Sante Health Foundation made a generous donation to help create the Sante Volunteer Center.

"Volunteers are at the heart of what we do," explained Kym Dildine, Central California Food Bank Co-CEO. "They help us build boxes, sort food, pack backpacks for children over the weekend."

According to Dildine, volunteers do a lot in a small space.

"It increases some of our safety hazards," she said. "We're in a working warehouse, hustling and bustling, getting food in and out as fast as we can."

By next year, volunteers will have a space all to themselves

A 20,000 square foot expansion will be added to the back of the warehouse.

More space means more volunteers, and more volunteers means more food gets to those who need it.

"Increasing safety and efficiency for all of our volunteers, and really being able to maximize the production and impact on our community," Dildine said.

This new 'Sante Volunteer Center' is made possible by a $401,236 donation by the medical group.

Kelly Lilles said helping the food bank was a no-brainer. It's just one way to help the organization's vision of a hunger-free Central California.

"A lot of them are embarrassed to go get food. We don't want them to be embarrassed. We don't want them to end up in the doctor's offices. We don't want their kids going hungry because of pride," she said.

According to the food bank, construction on the volunteer center will start in September.

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