Stories and Events

Engaging San Benito County through Philanthropy

October 14, 2022 | Events

Food Insecurity in San Benito County

The Community Foundation for San Benito County hosted an informational meeting to bring awareness to the significant unmet need for food assistance affecting thousands of homes across San Benito County. According to a report on Food Insecurity in San Benito County by UC Santa Cruz’s Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise & Participatory Governance, one in four San Benito County residents may be at risk for a food shortage. The report was written by Blum Center Director Heather Bullock and a team of graduate researchers, David Amaral, Emily Hentschke, and Eva Bertram. Data from 2016-2017 annd 2019-2020 was analyzed using a “food insecurity index” developed by the Blum Center, which at an aggregate level, estimates the number of meals being missed after considering meals purchased and food assistance provided. Leaders of food agencies and elected officials in San Benito County were invited to come together at the Community Foundation Epicenter to listen to the presentation, ask questions, and brainstorm strategies for reducing food insecurity and to start fostering some collaborative efforts. To get a current position on food insecurity impacting county agencies, Bill Lee, Executive Director of Martha’s Kitchen, and Sarah Nordwick, CEO/Executive Director of Community Food Bank of San Benito County, both gave a brief statement of their perspective on present trends in their field. Lee stated that the “demand for food has not gone down” in recent months. Nordwick added that an increase of 50 or more families a week had signed up for services at the Food Bank since January of this year. “This is our community, it’s our county, and none of us could make this better unless we all work together,” she said. The Community Foundation plans to host a follow-up meeting at the start of next year to coordinate action plans to further support nonprofits and agencies that work to combat food insecurity in San Benito County. Click on the link below for a digital copy of the report.

September 27, 2022 | Stories

Community Foundation Awards $276,664 in Grants

In partnership with our donors, the Community Foundation for San Benito County provided funding for Program Project Grants through five different funds held at the Foundation – the Community Engagement Grants Fund, Homeless Services Fund, Martin Rajkovich Children’s Fund, Sonny Paullus Fund and the Women’s Fund. After much discussion and hard work from the Grants Committee, 42 requests were recommended for funding and approved by the Board on September 19, 2022.

September 7, 2022 | Stories

San Benito County Mural Restored after 25 Years

San Benito County Mural Restored after 25 Years

August 8, 2022 | Stories

Over $2 Million Estate Gifted to 7 Local Nonprofits

It is said that time, talent, and financial support are a few ways to help nonprofits. Nonprofits depend on this support from their community in order to survive and continue their work. Bob Stratton is a tremendous example of a community member supporting local nonprofits. With his passing in May of last year, Bob generously donated a portion of his estate, of over $2 million to 7 local nonprofits. This money will be distributed to BenitoLink, Central Coast VNA & Hospice, Inc., Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation, Pet Friends, San Benito County Historical Society, Small Steps, and the Community Foundation. For these nonprofits, the funds they will receive are substantial and have a huge impact on their ability to serve their mission. Small Steps Board Member, Mary Hubbell, is deeply grateful for Bob and his generosity, “Bob was a longtime supporter of Small Steps and his passion for giving was inspirational. With this gift, we will be able to continue our mission of providing warm winter coats and shoes for children in need within San Benito County. It has always been our vision to serve as many local children as we can and Bob’s gift will help us well into the future.” Bob, and his wife Bev, were champions of the nonprofit community in San Benito County. Before they moved to Hollister in the early 1980s, they planned their generous gift to be distributed to nonprofits outside of the County. Through the years they observed the dedication and passion of local nonprofits and decided to have their gift stay in San Benito County. Bob’s legacy will live on through his philanthropic work and continue to touch the lives of many in San Benito County for years to come.