Unity and Gratitude: Yolo Food Bank’s “Night at the Warehouse”


Last week, Yolo Food Bank hosted our much anticipated, “Night at the Warehouse” event, a vibrant celebration that brought together the core of our community: our dedicated volunteers, generous food donors, and committed financial supporters. Together, these individuals are the backbone of our operations, and it was a pleasure to dedicate an evening to thank them for their invaluable support. 

The evening was filled with warmth and camaraderie, communing alongside refreshing beverages and hearty appetizers, setting the tone for a night of meaningful connections and celebration. It was a joy to see so many familiar faces come together, and our wide array of supporters united under the common mission to care for those in our community in need.

Behind the Scenes: A Tour of Yolo Food Bank

The night kicked off with an interactive and educational tour of our warehouse, offering supporters a unique opportunity to see Yolo Food Bank’s operations up close. As attendees moved from station to station, they engaged 

in trivia games and won fun prizes, adding an element of entertainment to their learning experience. This immersive tour provided an excellent way for our supporters to connect with our mission, allowing them to witness firsthand the hard work and dedication that goes into every aspect of our service.

Yolo Food Bank “Pallet Awards”

One of the major highlights of the evening was the inaugural Yolo Food Bank “Pallet Awards” ceremony, where we honored those whose extraordinary efforts have gone above and beyond in service of our county.

Honoring Volunteers

The West Sacramento Rotary Club received the “Volunteer Group of the Year Award” for their sustained commitment and innovative projects, such as providing insulated bags to help keep food distributions efficient and dignified. Jean Barbour, nicknamed the “Dunnigan Queen,” was awarded the “Rural Community Ambassador Award,” recognizing her devotion to her local community and incredible service.

Jean Barbour is presented with the “Rural Community Ambassador Award.” 

Honoring Food Donors

The Pallet Awards also highlighted the essential roles of our agricultural and food recovery partners. Sprouts in Woodland received this year’s “New Grocery Partner Award” for their significant and consistent food donations, recently becoming one of our main food recovery partners. River Garden Farms was celebrated for their ongoing support and engagement in community events that bridge agricultural resources with our food security efforts, receiving this year’s “Innovative Farm Partner Award.”

Honoring Financial Donors

Lastly, we took a moment to honor the remarkable philanthropy of two distinguished individuals. Kathleen Gray, a dedicated Davis resident, was celebrated with the “Longest Running Donor Award” for being a Yolo Food Bank donor for 31 years. Kathleen has been a consistent donor since her first gift in 1993 and has contributed monthly without fail for nearly 14 years. Neil Dhanowa was recognized with the “Creative Fundraiser Award”. As a recent contributor, Neil has organized a special holiday golf tournament for friends and family, creatively raising almost $50,000 over two years. These awards underscore the diverse and critical ways our donors contribute to our development efforts, demonstrating the incredible impact of community engagement in philanthropy.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

We also paid tribute to our Lifetime Achievement awardees, volunteers who have each dedicated over 500 hours of service to the Food Bank. Their unwavering dedication and passion are truly inspiring. Each awardee was honored with a special jacket and a certificate signed by CA State Senator Bill Dodd, as a token of our appreciation for their phenomenal sacrifice for their neighbors in need.

The 2024 Lifetime Achievement awardees.

Successful Silent Auction

During the event, Yolo Food Bank had a “Silent Auction,” with different handcrafted furniture built by our own Facilities Manager, Alan Mapalo! All of the proceeds, nearing $3,000, went towards a Challenge Gift for Big Day of Giving 2024, kicking off early giving for Yolo Food Bank!

If you’d like to support us during this year’s Big Day of Giving, you can donate now at bigdayofgiving.org/yolofoodbank, and mark your calendars for May 2, the regional 24-hour giving day where you show up for the nonprofits you care about!


A Night to Remember

“Night at the Warehouse” was not just a way for us at Yolo Food Bank to express our gratitude—it was a celebration of the power of community support and the impact of collective action. Each story shared, every recognition given, and all the laughs enjoyed remind us of the importance of our work and the incredible generosity that makes it all possible.

Due to maximum capacity restrictions and at the direction of the fire marshal, unfortunately we weren’t able to invite every single one of our valued supporters. This by no way shape or form diminishes the impact of your contributions. We look forward to offering more opportunities for our entire community to come together in the coming months!

Thank you to everyone who joined us, making the evening memorable. And thank you to every one of our supporters, your commitment fuels our daily efforts and empowers us to meet the challenges ahead. Together, we are building a stronger, more resilient Yolo County.

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