Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services

After they arrive in Sacramento, refugee families rely on the emergency food system that a grant from our initiative is making more sustainable.

Two years ago, after being granted entrance into the United States as refugees of special humanitarian concern, Nematullah and his family arrived in Sacramento. To settle into their new life, Nematullah, his wife, and their two children relied on the capital area’s nonprofit organizations, including Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). Now, as a Refugee Resettlement Assistant there, he helps other newly arrived families navigate the same process.

“When you come to a new community, a place where everything is different from your home country, including culture and language, you go through a lot of ups and downs in order to become adjusted to your new environment,” he says.

Nematullah at SFBFS' headquarters, where he assists refugee families settling in Sacramento.

Nematullah points out that every refugee family he assists has suffered great loss — their homes, their possessions, and sometimes their families — and, upon arriving in Sacramento, they have many needs: clothing, shelter, employment, language services, and, of course, food.

Nematullah loves helping the families he assists find the resources they need to settle into our community. He says that, because many refugee families lack access to healthy food and transportation, they rely on the food available at SFBFS’ system of partner agencies throughout the region – the same agencies that are being made more sustainable with help from a $100,000 grant from our Connecting the Regional Food Economy initiative, which addresses hunger throughout the Sacramento region.

Through that grant, SFBFS is better able to serve our community’s vulnerable populations – including refugees settling in the Sacramento area – by making the local emergency food system more efficient and effective. In doing so, they are advancing findings from the Sacramento Region Food System Action Plan, an in-depth report funded by the Foundation that recommends strategies to resolve the disconnect between the abundant agricultural output of the Sacramento region and the reality that many in our community suffer from limited access to fresh foods.

By strengthening the availability of healthy food in underserved communities, our partnership with SFBFS helps ensure families like Nematullah’s enjoy a healthy beginning to their lives in the Sacramento region.