A Message From Interfaith Food Ministry 
We want to give a huge round of applause to the talented and generous musicians who made our first benefit concert a reality, Boston Ravine, The Heifer Belles, and the Daring Coyotes!  Also, a big heartfelt thanks to IFM board member, Eleanor Kenitzer for being our guest hostess. We want to thank our special guest, Dale Roddy who wrote the 'IFM Blues' song and for sharing his story of how IFM has helped improve his quality of life!  Phil Alonso, IFM Executive Director did an outstanding job of presenting the concert which made for a fun and entertaining show.

A very special thanks goes out to the young lady, Mei Lin Heirendt for inspiring the concert with her talent and big heart. Mei Lin, one of the musicians of Boston Ravine, who just turned 15 years old, held a concert for IFM last year for a community school project.  It was such an instant success that IFM decided to make it an annual event.  Finally, we give thanks to  Karl Chelette of Boston Ravine for doing all the behind the scenes tech work involved with live streaming the show, in addition to playing for the concert! The concert has raised $5000.  But, we are still raising funds and if you haven't had a chance to view or  make a donation to the concert yet, the two hour live stream recording is linked below, along with a highlights video by G12 Video Productions. 
Check out the full concert and make a donation online 
or mail to IFM 440 Henderson St. 
Grass Valley, Ca. 95945

Catch the highlights of Feeding Family Fueling Hope! 

This month we shine the IFM Volunteer Spotlight on Connie Mattis, IFM volunteer for nearly 15 years! Connie oversees all aspects of the client area: training of the admin crew, IFM admin supplies, developing procedures, and handling client issues.  If that sounds like a lot, it's because it is!  Connie's eye for detail and ability to go above and beyond is unique and admirable.  Her level of organization is seen throughout various aspects of her work. She knows the client database Soxbox like the back of her hand.  If there are any questions about clients, Connie is going to know the answer and if she doesn't know the answer, she's going to create a solution.  During Covid-19 she continues her work remotely, and thank goodness for that because client admin operations have become considerably more challenging as we adapt to the new protocols.  

When we spoke with Connie she said,  "Since Covid, I've hunkered down and have lots of time, so I'm happy to do more volunteer work for IFM.  I speak with all the new clients on the phone and I have to say they are thrilled with the drive thru distribution and friendliness of our team. We have a really good crew." 

Connie has a background working in clerical business and spent many of her professional years at Hitachi America as a liaison to US Universities before she retired.  "I love to assist and concierge. I find what I do at IFM to be very similar,  in all that I do to onboard and assist IFM clients." Connie remembers the days before IFM implemented the use of  Soxbox food pantry program for clients. "Before we used to just keep client cards that were filled out manually.  Soxbox, which was launched in 2012 at IFM, has really helped advance the organization. Today we have about 9,500 individual clients in the system, not including their family members."

When asked about what her favorite memory is from working nearly 15 years at IFM, Connie said, "One day a lady came in who I had helped sign up to CalFresh and MediCal.  She wanted to thank me because she and her spouse were going through such a tough time then.  She almost didn't apply for services because she didn't think she would qualify.  Within less than a couple of months from signing her up her husband experienced a heart attack and had it not been for being on the MediCal, the medical expenses would have caused them to lose their home and they'd 
probably not have been able to keep their family together.  The timing was remarkable." 

Thank you, Connie Mattis for your many years of service to IFM; to our community. 

Volunteers for Distribution Administrative and Remote Positions Needed! 

Spreadsheet Maintenance
Donor Letter Stuffing 
Hand Letter Writing to Donors
Phone Calls to Donors
Contact Naomi Cabral, IFM Development Director at

Volunteers for all weekly packing and distribution shifts: 
Contact Anna Gloria, IFM Volunteer Administrator at 

Fill out an online app form to get you started! 
We are still awaiting the results of our 3rd Annual Hunger Run.  We are thankful for all who went out to run for feeding families in western Nevada County.  We enjoyed beautiful weather during the course of our 2 week virtual run. Stay tuned for a online virtual award ceremony where we announce winners. A monumental thanks to our sponsors this year:
Buy tickets online or opt for curbside pick up! 
Ronnie Hart fantasy art greeting cards being sold at Walker's Office Supply have now reached the $1,000 goal from March thru Sept this year. We are so grateful for Ronnie Hart's generous donations of her artwork!  In addition to Walker's, Ronnie now has a downtown Grass Valley sales location at the Courtyard Suites,  located at 210 N. Auburn Street.   Both locations are donating all the funds from card sales to IFM.  We hope you will stop in and see the new artwork and buy a card for a friend.  The cards sell for $5. each. Support feeding local families and give the lovely gift of locally produced art by the talented and whimsical Ronnie Hart. 

Interfaith Food Ministry and United Way of Nevada County are now partnered up to provide supplemental groceries to students and their families at 3 local high schools this fall! 

This year Covid has brought challenges to many families, especially families who have lost jobs or having to stay home to home school their children. The first high school pantry was started earlier this year to address student's nutritional needs. It quickly shifted to a drive-thru pantry at the school after Covid. Thus, the beginning of the High School Pantry Program.

This fall, Bear River and Silver Springs have a high school pantry for their student families as well. IFM is excited about the program that now brings more nutritious food to the student families who need it most. Another exciting part about this partnership is that United Way has rented out a warehouse space in the Beam Center building in Grass Valley, right next door to IFM. This allows for the two organizations to work easily together and continue the great partnership in a myriad of ways.

Images show United Way volunteers and UW board vice-president Tom Myers packing up the food IFM has provided, as well as volunteers at a NU drive-thru distribution. Find out more about the High School Pantry Program on the link:
Food Drives Are a Great Way to Get Involved! 
Volunteers Ben Welsh and Jack Bacon show Mt. St. Mary's student IFM's distribution operation after helping him unload hundreds of pounds of peanut butter and jelly to IFM and immediately handed out to clients that morning. 

Food Drives have been a great way to get the community involved in helping those in need during this challenging year.  Food drives help the community stay connected by helping those in need, in a way that is affordable and can also be a fun group activity.  In the last months since Covid, Twin Cities Church  shifted its usual Sunday food donation collection for IFM into a drive-thru food-drive drop-off once a month at their church, collecting over thousands of pounds of food with Twin Cities and IFM volunteers helping unload and sort everything on the spot. 

Last month, Mrs.McDonald’s 7th grade class at Mt. St. Mary’s Academy held a food drive for IFM that focused on the collection of peanut butter and jelly. The class collected the items  and had them transported over to IFM with a couple of students.  Next month the class will collect canned soup for IFM. 

In October and November, the Lake Wildwood community is hosting a food drive to benefit IFM.  The food drive will began this week and goes until November 6th.  Mike Zemetra, Chair of the LWW Community Relations Committee says, “We are pleased to help out during the Covid crisis. The combination of the upcoming holidays and the additional families requiring assistance due to Covid induced need should make for a successful drive.”

IFM welcomes all food drives large or small that can help as the holidays approach. Would your church, club, or residential community be interested in hosting a food drive for IFM? IFM can help you get the word out and arrange for volunteers to pack and pick up the food from its location for you, if needed. Contact Naomi Cabral at

Client Corner


It is hard to fathom the complex situations that those experiencing food insecurity are going through.  Usually food insecurity is just the tip of the iceberg. It's important to remain compassionate to our neighbors in need. Many are chronically ill, disabled, or caring for a family member who is.  In the current economic climate all it takes is an accident, or an unforeseen illness to push any hardworking citizen into extreme poverty or put them at risk of losing their home. 
I had a chance to speak to a young woman who has received supplemental groceries at IFM,  in a very similar situation.  She was in a car accident that caused her to become disabled and unable to work.  In addition she was caring for her grandmother who is in her 90's and her child who has severe autism.  (We agreed to change her name to protect her identity.) Laura said, "You never think something like this is going to happen to you. You're young, you're healthy and working, then all of a sudden you are not sure where your next meal is coming from.  Now we depend on all the extra help we can get.  When I came to IFM and saw the amount of good food they gave us, it brought tears to my eyes. I didn't expect the quantity or the quality. Thank you for all you do."

Written by Naomi Cabral, IFM Development Director


IFM now has a client newsletter!  Since we've shifted to outdoor drive-thru distribution during covid, we have missed the connection and interaction we used to have with our clients coming inside for distribution  IFM has ramped up its efforts in recent years to educate clients on nutrition and healthy ways to feed their families on a budget through recipe classes, recipe tastings, and general updates on the latest foods in season to look forward to.  Since all this is now restricted due to Covid, the Hunger to Health Committee at IFM created Feeding Families Fueling Hope Monthly, the client newsletter.  Now all the same nutritional education, as well as distribution information will be printed on a one page, two sided newsletter that is given to all clients.  October was the first month of the monthly newsletter. 

Marc Cuniberti a long time friend, supporter and donor to IFM has once again launched a Match campaign for IFM!  The fundraiser is called Turkey Matters and will go directly to the Sponsor a Family for the Holidays food program. Check out the video for details and find out how you can double the impact with your donation! 
Sponsor a Family for the Holidays has officially begun as of the month of October; IFM's Annual holiday fundraiser to feed over 3,000 struggling western Nevada County residents in need for the holidays. This includes Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals as well as regular distribution groceries twice a month.  We expect more families this holiday season. Please consider making a contribution. Sponsor a Family for the Holidays is IFM's last fundraiser of the year. If you have been waiting for a good time to make that big contribution to your community in need, this is the time to do it. 
IFM's Drive-Thru Distribution with volunteers Rod, Jim, and others serving our community on a beautiful Fall morning in western Nevada County. 
You may also mail checks to Interfaith Food Ministry at 
440 Henderson st. Grass Valley, CA 95945
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