By Jane Allen, Partner at PwC, ACCFB Board of Directors

I was born in Oakland to a Chinese immigrant mother and a father born during the Great Depression. For a family of six with one income, I was fortunate we never went hungry. A frugal lifestyle, time invested in a backyard garden, and government cheese given to us by our neighbors all played a role.

Jane Allen, Partner at PwC, joined ACCFB's Board of Directors in 2021Growing up, seeing unsheltered people was so expected, I admit I became desensitized. The hunger narrative only seemed linked to this population. It was not until I was a teen that I knew friends who only had meals at school, often skipped meals, or asked the convenience store for leftovers from the several-days-old hot dog bar. As I learned, people facing food insecurity are all a part of our robust community: college students, fully employed workers, seniors, families, and children.

Through my employer, PwC, I participated in a fundraising event for the Food Bank. Little did I know the impact it would have on me. I was impressed — and embarrassed — by how little I knew. The event refreshed my knowledge of modern food bank operations: An ecosystem with the food bank in the middle surrounded by fresh fruit and vegetables, nutrition education, a sophisticated supply chain, and legislative advocacy to target root causes.

I’m proud to have joined ACCFB’s Board of Directors, and to share in the passion and action on this basic human need for OUR community. Proud, also, that every Board meeting includes a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion session, to better understand the direct correlation between racism and food insecurity.

If we didn’t “see” food insecurity before in people “just like us,” I worry it’s even easier to miss in today’s virtual lifestyles. In the Bay Area we have some of the top schools, and highest revenue employers in the world, yet food insecurity continues on a frightening trajectory. That’s why I’m continually amazed and impressed by ACCFB’s relentless work to be the Food Bank of the Future. But there’s much more to do.

There’s so much controversy in the world, I am lucky to be able to channel my energy in a productive way — for our local communities. I invite you to refresh your knowledge of our modern food bank services, and to contribute time, money, or advocacy as you’re able. It truly makes a difference for our community.

Read more in our Spring 2022 Impact Report.