January 2021
A Message From Interfaith Food Ministry
Welcoming 2021 With Renewed Hope
"I want to thank all of our donors and volunteers for supporting us during 2020. Because of you, we were able to serve more families than we ever have in the past. We saw an increase of 20% more families coming in for food than the previous year. We were also able to give out more food per family. We gave out 40% more food compared to 2019. We couldn't have done any of this without all of you. So thank you! 

Now we don't know what 2021 has in store for us. But, we pledge to be here no matter what. Stay tuned for new and exciting programs and partnerships that we'll be undertaking and that we'll need your help on. On behalf of our 11,000 clients, our volunteers, our board, and our staff we thank you for helping us get through 2020 with grace and resilience. We look forward to this new year with renewed hope and service to those in need."

Thank You, 
Phil Alonso, IFM Executive Director
Phil Alonso, Interfaith Food Ministry Executive Director 
In 2020 We Gave More Food To More Families With Your Help
Volunteers Are Essential
It's no secret that volunteers are essential to the success of IFM's work. We want donor dollars to go where it matters most, and that's to feeding our community in need.  IFM has been fortunate to have a steady base of dedicated volunteers, making it possible for IFM to be thoughtful stewards of the funding that our contributing community invests into the organization.  

Our volunteers are talented, skilled, kind, creative, hard-working, compassionate, friendly, and generous. Oftentimes it is time and not money that one must be mindful of wasting, yet time and time again our volunteers choose to spend their valuable time assisting with the mission of feeding families in need.  We are proud to have such a fine team of individuals on board with what we do here at IFM and we invite you to be part of this family.  Fill out an online application to get started. 
Our fabulous check-in admin staff braving the snow to help the community. 
Welcoming IFM's New Program Manager: Venus Paxton
IFM would like to take a moment to introduce our new program manager, Venus Paxton. Yet Venus is not new to IFM. She had been a regular volunteer at IFM for nearly four and a half years.  Her story is worth sharing  because it fully embodies the spirit of what Interfaith Food Ministry does in the community by being that constant in one's sometimes rocky life path. 

Originally from Grass Valley, Venus came back home from Montana in 2003 to live with her mom and rehabilitate from drug use. She was in her early 20's at the time. After getting her life back on track she had her son who she raised as a single parent. She tried getting through college but found it difficult as a single mom. However, she was able to complete a  CalWorks program and found a subsidized apartment during those years. When she needed assistance from IFM she would go as a client from time to time. But, it was a traffic ticket that brought her to IFM as a volunteer.

In order to complete community service hours, she started working regularly at IFM and soon became a key volunteer with the responsibility of making the staples bags. During that time IFM didn't have all the volunteers it has today and Venus would be tasked at completing at least 300 staples bags every Thursday. Staples bags have all the basic foods like spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, tuna, mac & cheese, and several canned foods that are pre-packed for the clients.  She was hard-working and versatile; qualities that were appreciated by her fellow volunteers and supervisors at IFM. "I forced my mom (Jamie Paxton) to come volunteer with me to help me finish those 300 staples bags every Thursday. Now she's a regular volunteer as well and comes in once or twice a week to help," said Venus.  Fortunately, IFM now has a new way to distribute staples bags that is much more efficient and there are many more volunteers to help pack them.

When the need for a program manager came up at IFM last fall, it was clear that someone like Venus would be great for the job.  She submitted her resume, was interviewed, and the rest is history.  Venus gets paid now for her hard work, which includes the routine organization of indoor operations. She is in charge of the community service volunteer enrollment, and due to her gardening skills, she is heading off IFM's brand new Gardening Program, which will involve working more closely with the Garden Gals IFM Garden and also helping set up other community gardens in Nevada County.  When asked how she's enjoying being on board as Program Manager, Venus said, "It feels like I've joined a huge family who comes together with their time and energy to help feed those in need.  Not everyone has money to donate but they can donate their time and that's just as valuable."

You may contact Venus Paxton directly at to find out more about IFM's Gardening Program. 
IFM To Expand Gardening Program in 2021
IFM will be expanding it's Gardening Program this year.  Made possible by a grant IFM received in 2020, IFM has been able to hire a program manager to help and include plans for more community gardens; a long held vision at IFM that began with the Garden Gals IFM Garden in Lake Wildwood seven years ago. Along with this comes new volunteer opportunities. To find out more you can read the recent article in the Union or go to our website for more info. 

Support the Good Food All Program.
By supporting the Good Food For All Program
your donations will be doubled
to purchase wholesome healthy produce from
local Nevada and Placer Counties gardens!
 Everyone deserves good food.
Find out more about the program here
Or go donate directly here

Community Updates on Covid

Covid Testing: 
  • Testing is available for anyone, whether or not you have insurance. You must pre-register and schedule an appointment at or call 1-888-634-1123.
  • For assistance scheduling a COVID-19 test, contact 211 Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak to a local call specialist.
  • Appointments are available Monday-Saturday, 7:00 am to 7:00pm in Grass Valley
    Testing site is located at 231 Colfax Avenue, Grass Valley, CA 95945 (formerly Summer Thymes)
Covid Vaccine Information:
  • Information about vaccine sign ups here
  • Nevada County Vaccine Update: Starting vaccine access for 75+. Find out more here. 
  • Text VACCINEINFO to 898211
    Subscribe to vaccine text updates by texting VaccineInfo to 898211. Subscribers will receive official, non-emergency information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine(s). All new subscribers must opt-in to the alerts for ongoing updates.
  • Subscribers will get a confirmation reading: “Thank you for joining 211's COVID-19 Vaccine News & Information text alerts. You will receive information and updates related to COVID-19 vaccines in Nevada County. Visit to learn more.”
  • Residents can also get the most up-to-date information by visiting the County's COVID vaccine webpage: or by calling 211
  • Connecting Point at 1-833-DIAL211 to speak to a local call center agent, 24/7 in English or Spanish.
You may also mail checks to Interfaith Food Ministry at 
440 Henderson st. Grass Valley, CA 95945
Copyright © 2021 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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