As gourmands dig in at Palm Desert Food & Wine, it won’t only be foodies and wine connoisseurs who reap the delicious rewards. For the third year in a row, FIND Food Bank is among the charitable beneficiaries. Every event ticket purchased helps FIND provide for food-insecure families across the Coachella Valley.
“We absolutely love Palm Desert Food & Wine,” says Debbie Espinosa, president and CEO of FIND. “This event allows us to meet lots of great people, both from the Coachella Valley and visitors. It’s wonderful for us to be linked with an organization like Palm Springs Life, and it raises our visibility.”
Attendees will get a taste of FIND’s mission during the James Beard Gourmet Four-Course Luncheon, featuring a meet-and-greet and short presentation about the food bank’s work in the community (details on page 10). Volunteers circulate throughout the marketplace during the event, and FIND will have a table in the exhibitors’ tent to share information — plus tasty goodies donated by one of their food partners.
FIND focuses on providing fresh produce and protein-rich foods to low-income communities with the aim of ending hunger — especially for kids — through community involvement and education.
Each month, the nonprofit helps about 85,000 people through 100-plus partner agency distribution sites. FIND also runs 16 mobile pantries in Coachella Valley communities with little to no food-assistance resources. In addition, its outreach and case management department “works to connect clients to safety-net programs and resources, including CalFresh/SNAP, rental and utility assistance, pharmacy discount prescription cards, counseling resources, and transportation assistance, which encourage household stability, reduce food insecurity, and raise the quality of life,” Espinosa says.
The organization’s nutrition programming for children affords the greatest opportunity to break the cycle of poverty and poor health outcomes. According to the Council on Community Pediatrics’ Committee on Nutrition, multiple studies link early childhood malnutrition and food insecurity to adult diseases, including diabetes, pre-diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
To address these issues, FIND’s school-based distributions help get fresh produce directly into the hands of children, who then take it home to
share with other family members. Additional programs include the kids’ farmers markets and a summer club.
“To fight against childhood diseases and break the cycle of poverty, our children need to receive nutritious food,” Espinosa says.
Ultimately helping in the fight, too, are the chefs, vintners, craft beer brewers, and distillers from across the country who travel to Palm Desert for the event. But it’s the festival attendees who truly make a difference to families in need when purchasing their tickets.
Visit findfoodbank.org for more information.