By Shalini Sharp

Shalani Sharp, ACCFB Board of DirectorsGrowing up in downtown Detroit, I saw massive income inequality and how people lived side-by-side but in vastly different worlds. I’ve now lived in the Bay Area for many years, and things have gotten even tougher for people who are struggling. Sometimes, the problem feels insurmountable. You can sit back and feel anxious and sad about what’s going on, or you can try to do something about it. I think that’s why so many people are part of the Food Bank family: to take action with an organization that has real impact.

I first got involved with the Food Bank because I looked around at who was working behind the scenes to address poverty and who was doing it effectively. The Food Bank not only addresses food insecurity, but it takes a broader view, getting at the root causes by addressing poverty at the policy level.

You can’t really argue with feeding hungry people. I feel fortunate, and I want to help. I put my finance background to work on the board of directors. My family has started volunteering at our local food pantry and the Food Bank warehouse. And we donate in both cash and stock.

With stock, if you invest $100, and you sell it at $150, you would normally pay capital gains taxes on the $50 increase. However, if you give that $150 in stock to the Food Bank, you do not pay the capital gains tax; you deduct that $150 donation on your income tax filing — and most importantly — the Food Bank benefits from the full value of the stock. It’s a win-win situation.

Whether you donate stocks, write a check, or volunteer with ACCFB, I can’t imagine a better way to make a dent in poverty than getting involved with the Food Bank. Visit our updated to donate appreciated stocks and other securities.

Read more in our Fall 2022 Community Harvest.