Rancho Cordova, Calif. – The Rancho Cordova Food Locker announced the hiring of its first ever Executive Director, Carrie Johnson. With an extensive background in non-profit and community-focused engagement, Johnson is leading the RCFL into a new era of leadership and service to the East Sacramento County region.
The Rancho Cordova Food Locker is the largest official USDA food distribution site in the greater Rancho Cordova/eastern Sacramento County area, distributing approximately 44,000 lbs. of food to over 1,000 households each month. Since its establishment in 1987, the Rancho Cordova Food Locker has been dedicated to serving individuals and families in need throughout the greater Rancho Cordova area.
“Bringing Carrie on as our Executive Director provides an opportunity for us to increase the quality of our services and, ultimately, expand access to fresh and healthy food choices for families fighting hunger in our neighborhoods,” said Ross Johnson, president of the Rancho Cordova Food Locker board of directors.
For most of its history, the Rancho Cordova Food Locker was run by a passionate group of volunteers. Since 2019, the Food Locker has seen a 30% increase in the number of households facing food insecurity. In 2020, the Food Locker took an important next step, becoming an official USDA food distribution site and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
“This new role with the Rancho Cordova Food Locker is an important opportunity for me to help those most in-need in a community I care deeply about,” said Carrie Johnson. “As a longtime Rancho Cordova resident and supporter of the Food Locker, I’ve seen how access to food directly impacts the day-to-day lives of our most vulnerable populations. By investing in the operations and sustainability of the Food Locker, we are going to be able to expand not only our ability to provide healthy food options for the community, but also—in time—identify and expand our reach to other satellite facilities across the city.”
With more than 15 year’s experience in the not-for-profit sector, Johnson is a recognized leader in convening private, public, and non-profit organizations to better communities in-need. Her recent experiences at Paratransit, Inc. and SAFE Credit Union allowed her to partner with executive leadership teams to craft strategic initiatives that directly benefited clients. While at Stanford Youth Solutions (formerly Stanford Home for Children), Johnson led fundraising and outreach efforts, a skill important to the success of the Rancho Cordova Food Locker. Johnson is also very familiar with the Rancho Cordova community, living in the city since 1985.
“I feel like my entire career has been building up to this point. I know the power relationships can bring to businesses and non-profits. Whether it’s identifying new resources—both in time and money—or helping shine a light on the need for support services in our own backyard, I am excited to bring my experience to this community I cares so much about,” said Johnson. “I’ve seen the power of the Food Locker as a volunteer and member of the community, and I know we are starting a new chapter in its history that will leave a lasting mark on this city and beyond.”
The Rancho Cordova Food Locker currently operates under the umbrella and oversight of Catholic Charities of Sacramento, although there are no religious activities or requirements associated with its food distribution program. Supported by the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services affiliate network program, the Food Locker benefits from collaborating with a group of like organizations throughout the Sacramento Region, which are providing food related support to those in need.
The Food Locker also has a strong partnership with the City of Rancho Cordova. Thanks to support the past six years from the city’s Community Enhancement & Investment Fund and American Rescue Plan Act funds, the Food Locker has purchased a box truck and forklift, upgraded IT and food storage, focused on capacity building, and more. In addition, the Food Locker works with the city’s Homeless Outreach Team to provide food and wraparound services for homeless individuals and families.
“The City of Rancho Cordova is proud to partner with the Rancho Cordova Food Locker to support those in need in our community,” said City Manager Cyrus Abhar. “We have seen the demand for healthy food and support services increase, especially during the pandemic. Through an ongoing investment in the Food Locker’s services and operations, we can fight food insecurity and provide a helping hand to our residents.”
“Many of our guests are members of the working poor and immigrant communities. And children make up nearly one-third of the individuals we serve. Our guests are our friends, neighbors, colleagues and classmates,” said Johnson. “Providing wraparound services with the City of Rancho Cordova helps those seeking food identify if other programs can alleviate hardships they’re facing.”
While some of the food distributed from the Rancho Cordova Food Locker is provided through the UDSA food distribution program, the Food Locker also receives regularly donated food from local grocery stores and restaurants.
Operating three days per week and offering special annual food giveaways for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Food Locker is also identifying additional access points to support the community. The growing need as well as the quantity of food donated indicate a significant need for improved and expanded facilities to continue operating at the pace needed to support current and future guests.
“We are committed to expanding access to fresh and healthier food choices through our network of food partner, fighting hunger and feeding hope to the residents of Rancho Cordova and surrounding communities,” said Johnson. “We envision becoming a connector for residents facing food insecurity by providing more than just food, but also the resources that would allow them to live the life they wish with dignity and grace.”
About the Rancho Cordova Food Locker
Rancho Cordova Food Locker (RCFL) is an official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) food distribution site and an IRS approved 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization (EIN #84-4865349). RCFL provides food insecure individuals and families in the community with a no-cost emergency supply of food. Our patrons come from all walks of life, including the unemployed, seniors, disabled, homeless, working poor, and new immigrants.