February 2020
Donor Corner 

20 Volunteers Needed
for Help with Donor Letters Feb 18th-26th

We are still urgently need 20 volunteers to help with mail out campaign letter preparation between the days of Feb 18th until Feb 26th. Get in touch to select a day to work at IFM or from home! Please bring a friend or two to help. There are 2000 letters that must be stuffed and sealed within the timeframe and the deadline is on the 26th. IFM needs you. Without volunteer help on this task, we may not meet our goals. *Treats will be provided. 

Naomi Cabral, Development Director at IFM: / 530-870-0177 @ 440 Henderson St. GV. CA.

IFM would like to give a big 'thank you' to  Soroptimist International of Sierra Foothills, who awarded IFM a generous gift last month to help pay for our Hunger to Health Food Tastings with Wendy van Wagner. Wendy creates samples for our clients and volunteers, made with our recent vegetable offerings, while giving some great tips to successful recipe preparation. The level of response has been significant and clients have been enjoying the program. 
Client Corner

Getting By on $850 a Month

Approximately 40% of IFM’s clients visit IFM no more than 3 times a year! Anyone is allowed up to 24 food distributions a year if needed. But, the numbers show that most people come for help only when they really have to. However, for 25% of our clients who are seniors, IFM is a regular and necessary resource that helps them get through the month, when their social security check goes straight to rent and bills. It is not unusual for many of our senior clients to be getting by on as low as $850 a month. The break down of the math is very simple. About half of that goes to rent and the other goes to utilities, gas, maybe some vehicle maintenance, and paying full price for food at grocery stores. If it weren’t for Interfaith Food Ministry,  seniors who are no longer able to work due to disability or simply old age, would be in a world of scarcity trying to figure out how they were going to find their next meal. For many seniors the ‘American dream’ has come and gone and there is not the option of ‘getting back on their feet’.

Upcoming Events
  • IFM’s Matching Campaign kicks off  March 1st until March 31st. More info to come.
  • Shred Day at Owen’s Estate & Wealth is on May 2nd 8AM - 1PM.
  • Annual IFM Volunteer Luncheon in June at Twin Cities Church June 9th 12PM - 2PM. Details to come.
  • IFM Benefit Concert in the Fall of 2020. Details to come.
  • IFM’s 3rd Annual Hunger Run at Alta Sierra Country Club is Saturday, September 26th 7AM - 11AM.
  • Paulette’s Spaghetti Dinner of Friday, October 16th 5PM - 8PM. 
Volunteer Corner

Del Mack has been a volunteer at IFM for 20 years. He's a second generation IFM volunteer and his father Ralph Mack was a volunteer over 30 years ago when IFM was still run out of a house.  Del volunteers on Monday,  Wednesday, and on Thursdays he opens IFM before anyone else gets there at 6:30 AM and makes the coffee for volunteers who sort and pack bags for distribution days. 

Del does just about everything as far as jobs at IFM go. On Distribution days hes usually pushes the cart out for clients.
"I really enjoy meeting the clients and I often hear a bit of their stories. Once, a woman shared with me how she was down on her luck after her husband left their family and another time I got to help out some of the Paradise fire victims who had found relief in Nevada County, by seeking out IFM services." Del is truly an outstanding Nevada County resident. In fact, last week he achieved acknowledgement from the GV Police Department for logging 5500 volunteer hours! Way to go, Del. Thanks so much for all you do at IFM and in the community. 

If you’ve been looking for something fun to do while helping those in need, our events are also a great way to help with a more flexible schedule. Do something from home and work at your pace. Different types of event committee jobs:
  • mail out campaigns
  • concert set up
  • raffles
  • decorating
  • dinner events at IFM or Paulette's
  • social media & PR
  • race set up of track and timing runners
  • invitations and/or light email communications
Contact Naomi Cabral, Development Director, 530-870-0177
We also currently need extra hands on Thursday  8AM - 11AM for sorting and packing and on Friday for distributions 8:30 AM- 1PM. Feel free to come by and be given a task on the spot. You don't need to call, just show up! 440 Henderson Street, Grass Valley, CA.

If you're a BriarPatch Coop owner and also a volunteer at Interfaith Food Ministry then you're in for a treat. Through their new PatchWorks Neighbors program, you would be eligible for discounts at the register for putting in volunteer time at IFM. Find info about this fun new program here. 
Community Partnerships

Last month Wendy prepared a warm and hearty lentil soup for IFM clients. A total of 139 clients sampled the lentil soup. Many hesitant to give it a try but when they finally did, were not disappointed.

Here is Wendy's recipe from the tasting and she's included a few nuggets of info about lentil soup:


Here are some of the most common lentil types:

  • Brown: These are the most widely eaten type. They have an earthy flavor, hold their shape well during cooking and are great in stews.
  • Green: These can vary in size and are usually a cheaper alternative to Puy lentils in recipes. 
  • Yellow and red: These lentils are split and cook quickly. They’re great for making dal and have a somewhat sweet and nutty flavor. 
  • Beluga: These are tiny black lentils that look almost like caviar. They make a great base for warm salads. 

Lentils are often overlooked, even though they’re an inexpensive way of getting a wide range of nutrients. 

For example, they’re packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

Lentils are made up of over 25% protein, which makes them an excellent meat alternative. They’re also a great source of iron, a mineral that is sometimes lacking in vegetarian diets.


Best Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1/2 cup finely chopped carrot

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed

1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes

2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin


Use a heavy bottomed pot and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency. Serve immediately.

Wendy Van Wagner M.A., C.H.E.S.

Join BriarPatch Food Co-op at Sierra Cinemas on Thursday, February 27 at 4 p.m. for a screening of the film.

'This important film aims to change the way people buy, cook, recycle and eat food. WASTED! exposes the criminality of food waste and how it’s directly contributing to climate change and shows us how we all can make small changes to solve great social and environmental problems of the 21st Century.

A percentage of proceeds from the film night benefits Sierra Harvest’s Gold Country Gleaning Program. Volunteers in the program harvest seasonal produce that would otherwise go to waste and donates it to Interfaith Food Ministry which distributes to over 8,000 people in need. In 2019, volunteers harvested 21,237 pounds of food that would have otherwise gone to waste.'
Check out the Union article! 

The power of community effort is amazing! Thanks Marc Cuniberti, for inspiring community donors during the holidays with your own generous donation and helping bring awareness to the public about food insecurity in Nevada County with your videos.


Once again AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is gearing up to provide free tax preparation services and electronic filing of both Federal and California tax returns.  Tax-Aide volunteers are trained and IRS-certified every year and work hard to make sure you get every tax credit and deduction you've earned.  There is no fee and no sales pitch for other services.  AARP membership is not required.  Free tax preparation help is offered to anyone, and if you're 50 and older and can't afford a tax preparation service, this service is especially tailored for you.

The Tax-Aide volunteers can prepare most common personal tax returns, including those that have wages, Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, pensions, annuities or IRA distributions, earned interest, earned income credit, dividends, itemized deductions, tuition and student loan interest and more.  Learn more at

Appointments are required.  Please Connecting Point at 211 or toll free at 844-319-4119 to schedule an appointment on a Monday between February 3rd and April 13th.  Limited appointments will also be available for two Saturday mornings, February 22 and March 28. 

For Lake Wildwood residents, Tax-Aide services will be provided at the Lake Wildwood Community Center on Wednesdays from February 4 through April 8, 2019. Appointments can be scheduled for Lake Wildwood by calling 530-432-3260 or contact Rick Kahil at

By the Numbers and the Stories They Tell

With an estimated 13,500 Nevada County residents reported to be experiencing food insecurity, IFM continues to stay committed to reaching as many folks in need in 2020. Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible in 2019. 

Unique Families Served  3609 (+2.9%)
Unique Individuals Served 8069 (+5.5%) 
Average Family Size 2.4 (+4.4%)
Grocery Bags of Food 104,335 (+4.1%)
Copyright © *2020 Interfaith Food Ministry, All rights reserved.

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Interfaith Food Ministry · 440 Henderson St · Grass Valley, CA 95945-7374 · USA

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