As many continue to be financially challenged by the current economic times, the services that Folsom’s Twin Lakes Food Bank provides are being utilized more than ever these days. It seems the items are coming off the shelves as fast as they can stock them at times.  

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In just a few days, on November 10, the local organization will host its annual Fundraising Gala, an event in which they hope will be well attended and can hit new records and will help carry them well into the year ahead as they strive to serve the growing issue of food insecurity in the Folsom community. That community has climbed to some 3000 individuals each month. 

The upcoming gala on Nov. 10 will take place in the auditorium of Lakeside Church. The event will offer dinner along with a wine and beer bar for guests and more importantly, it will feature a number of fundraising activities in which they hope will help them reach their target goal of $250,000. Last year, the event raised $225,000. Twin Lakes Food Bank Executive Director Lisa Tuter hopes they can continue to grow in fundraising again this year, a year where the demand for their services are higher than ever.

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“The money raised at our gala makes it possible for us to continue the programs and services we offer,” said Tuter. “We have a lot of costs involved with what we do. We don’t get government funding to operation on, what we do is all done on donations from the community. We have corporate donations and help from different churches, but the largest part of our funding comes from the community itself and right now, the demand for our services is higher than ever.”

When Tuter first came to Twin Lakes Food Bank just under six years ago, she said the number of individuals being assisted as at the 1700 mark each month.  She shared the latest figures; in September of 2022 they provided food assistance to 2400 individuals and this September that number has jumped to 3400 individuals coming to the food bank each month.

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“We often use the term food insecurity,” said Tuter. “In reality, it comes down to income insecurity and there are just a lot of people out there that are hurting financially.”

According to Tuter, the largest population they serve is seniors on a fixed income. She explained that many in the community don’t know that and there is often a misconception that much of their clientele is of the homeless population. This is not the case according to their data.

“That has been something we have to explain many times as there is some confusion out there,” said Tuter. “Out of all of the demographics we provide services to, less than 10% of that is the unhoused. The majority of population we serve is seniors and inflation are causing much of that.”

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“When you are on a limited income and prices go up you have to make choices where to cut back, explained Tuter. “You can’t cut back on paying rent or medical care or prescriptions, so it’s usually cutting back on groceries because that is the one place you can get help fairly easily.”

Tuter added that they have also seen an increase in college students needing assistance after they established their program with Folsom Lake College that allows students to get food assistance if it is needed.

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“We have been told that there are actually some college students living out of their cars these days to get by,” said Tuter. “Not everyone has financial assistance for school or scholarships. They are doing everything they can to get an education in very challenging times and we are here to help them.”

Tickets to attend the event in person are $100 and tables of up to eight can be reserved.  Proceeds from the ticket sales, after expenses, will benefit the organization along with the many activities that take place throughout the evening.  

Those activities include a live auction with talented auctioneer Freddie Silveria returning to auction off a vast number of various items to bid on donated by businesses and professionals from throughout the community. 

The theme of the event this year is “masquerade,” and attendees are welcome to dress up accordingly. Tuter said they are planning some special surprises throughout the night surrounding the theme. 

“There is much mystery to be had at the masquerade,” said Tuter. “This will be a lot of fun for everyone and it’s all for a really good cause.”

For those who cannot make it to the event in person, a Fund a Need virtual online auction will also be taking place where you can participate from the comfort of your own home or office and bid on various items to help make a difference in the community.  According to Tuter, more than $60,000 in donated items will be available to bid on in the various auctions.

The online auction will begin on Nov. 3 and close on Nov. 12. Those wanting to participate can access the online auction at the OFFICIAL LINK RIGHT HERE. 

Entertainment for the in person portion of the event will be provided by the Tower String Quartet. The dinner will be created and served by Randy Peters Catering. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 but get your tickets early as they could sell out very soon. Tickets can be purchased through the Twin Lakes Food Bank website BY CLICKING HERE.

For those that aren’t looking to participate in person at the event and are not interested in the auction but want to contribute to the event, they also have a place to strictly make a donation to it that can be found on two links above as well. For any additional information on the event or on the Twin Lakes Food Bank in general visit www.twinlakesfoodbank.org.

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan