Publishers’ Legacy Continues – Fort Bragg Advocate-News
FORT BRAGG, CA – This year’s sharing season, sponsored by Fort Bragg Advocate-News and Mendocino Beacon, marks its 25th consecutive giving campaign. It is thanks to the dedicated efforts of many people that we have made it this far. Yet establishing that tradition in 1996 is the legacy of Sharon DiMauro, a retired editor of the Fort Bragg and Mendocino newspapers. She is no longer directly involved in the fundraising campaign. However, her husband, Jim DiMauro, served as warehouse manager for over ten years.
Sharon DiMauro recalls thinking that newspapers should address community issues. It occurred to him that “nothing matters if you are hungry. You can’t address anything unless you feed the people. For me, that was the most basic need of the people. People can’t start to get up if they don’t even know where their next meal is coming from.
The logistics of collecting, collecting and distributing donations for the Fort Bragg Food Bank needed solutions. Nonprofits have to follow strict financial regulations, and both newspapers were not nonprofits. The food bank was unable to conduct such an operation. DiMauro said, “I didn’t want to experience something that would take 80% of donations. It was important that it be local.
Over the years, DiMauro has continued to find a new way to manage these nonprofit contributions. She was extremely grateful when the Mendocino Community Foundation assumed legal responsibility for the fundraising campaign. She fondly recalls the enthusiasm of her staff when the daily donation totals were announced at the office.
The tradition of publishing the names of donors in newspapers also dates back to the days of DiMauro. It was essential that the amounts of individual donor contributions were not indicated. She wanted to show respect to every donor, regardless of the amount donated. “We had people who came to donate two dollars. It was so touching for me, ”she said.
The Fort Bragg Food Bank now receives Season of Sharing funds directly each year. However, that didn’t change DiMauro’s level of engagement. “Everyone in this community should be proud of the food bank. They have grown so much and increased their reach, and of course, are the hub of all other food banks, ”she noted.
Jim DiMauro, Sharon’s husband, helps manage all of these sites, leveraging his 32 years of experience working for Safeway. Her job is to provide good food to all of the Fort Bragg Food Bank customers. Jim DiMauro brings his store management skills to the complex task of locating, ordering and purchasing thousands of pounds of produce, dairy, canned and meats. He manages deliveries, ensuring that his trained staff systematically unload large boxes in the small warehouse.
Dimauro is the dealmaker, and he takes it seriously. Most of the food comes from the Santa Rosa Redwood Food Bank, a regional hub that supplies other food banks as far away as Crescent City. Grant money keeps food banks viable, saving them thousands of dollars in the wholesale market. Most of the orders Jim places with the Redwood Food Bank are only subject to a small fee of nine cents a pound. The available grant money can also remove this cost.
According to Dimauro, he has been able to provide better, healthier food over the past few years. “I’m looking for any kind of deal out there,” he said. For example, the Food Bank obtained a grant which enabled the purchase of fresh meat. Previously, customers were given meat once a month, often canned tuna or chicken. Now a pound of fresh hamburger or chicken is available once a week. Even fresh eggs are provided. A one-time grant brought in fresh cheese from California.
DiMauro’s flexibility contributes to spotted and concluded transactions. Local grocery stores send expensive, slightly “spoiled” organic produce. Jim and his team carefully sort out each room, eliminating anything that doesn’t fit. Even barrels full of trash are not wasted. A pig farmer regularly comes to pick up what cannot be given to customers.
Towards the end of the month, there were days when DiMauro was eyeing his declining stock. He said that although the canned food was the best he could do that day, he knew that at least people were being fed. “All you can do in this business is cross your fingers and hope you get the right things,” he observed. It has budget limitations that determine what it can do on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Additional warehouse space across the street at the farm stand allows DiMauro to take advantage of special offers that he can stock during lean periods. “I love my job,” he says. “We have a great staff. Everyone cares about their customers. I couldn’t ask for a better place to work.
Here are the generous donors from last week to thank for their total contribution of $ 7,387.71: Barbara Weiss; Nancy and Tim Cuny; Jeanette Stickel; in honor of Dorrit Effinger; Heather Paulson; Press Marni; Karen Rakofsky; in memory of Ruby Bell Sherpa; Simply succulent; Deborah Holmer; in honor of Lucresha Renteria and Jeremie Foley; Jeanette Rasker; Michael H. Fischer; given in the name of Ken Levi; in honor of Hawthorn-Love; Douglas W. Buzby; Chris Schilling; David Jensen; Barry and Gayle Tyerman; Bryant Burkhardt; Margaret Roberts; Lulu Handley; Louis Johnston; Thomas Casey; Deborah Santos; and Kate Lee, in honor of Sharon DiMauro and in memory of Charles and Jean Lee. Four other donors wish to remain anonymous.
Reminder to annual donors who prefer to contribute before the end of the year: December 31 is tomorrow. However, the Season of Sharing donation campaign will continue until Saturday, January 8. The food bank is located at 910 North Franklin Street, Fort Bragg, CA, to donate in person. By phone, dial 707-964-9404. You can also send a contribution to Fort Bragg Food Bank, PO Box 70, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. Online, please visit FortBraggFoodBank.org.