Archive for March, 2009

2010 Federal Budget Resolution

This week the House of Representatives and the Senate will each be considering their respective versions of the FY2010 Budget Resolution. The Budget Resolution sets guidelines for total spending and revenue for FY2010 and subsequent years.

As the Congress prepares to reauthorize and strengthen child nutrition programs, it is important that the Budget Resolution include significant additional funding to strengthen the quality and efficiency of all child nutrition programs, increase participation, and fill the gaps in food service for millions of low-income children so that all children will have access to a safe, nutritious, and healthy diet.

How You Can Help
Right now, we need your assistance in helping to ensure passage of a Budget Resolution that includes significant investments in child nutrition programs. Please call your Senators and House Members by the end of the day Wednesday (April 1), and urge them to support a budget resolution that includes significant added investments in child nutrition programs. You can reach your Senators and House Members by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.

Please keep us informed on your progress and results by leaving a comment below.

QUESTIONS? For more information about how you can help take action against hunger, please contact Lisa Sherrill at (800) 870-FOOD ext. 206 or

Find your Federal representative by visiting

Dine In to Fight Childhood Hunger

Here in the United States, more than 12 million children do not have access to regular healthy meals. That total equates to an astounding 1 in 6 children struggling with hunger. By simply hosting a dinner with your friends and family, you will join the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano in the fight against hunger in our community.

Pledge to host a Dine In dinner anytime between March 15 and April 30, 2009 and use the meal time to discuss the issue of childhood hunger and encourage your family members and friends to join the fight against hunger.

Everything you need to have a successful Dine In meal with your evening with family and friends can be found below. Activities for kids are also included. You have the opportunity to share continuously your experiences online right here at our blog. Let us hear from you! Please leave comments.

hunger facts table cards (PDF: 293K)

Thank you for your support. We look forward to your joining the fight against childhood hunger in our community.

Hunger Solutions

We would like to thank Joel Berg for speaking at Clayton Books on March 14 and at the Food Bank on March 16. Even if you missed the event, be sure to read the book. Below are Joel’s facts for California and his ideas for solving hunger in America.

THE FACTS: California
? According to the USDA, from 2005 to 2007, more than ten percent of California residents were hungry or at risk for hunger – and that was before the recent economic crisis. High food prices and skyrocketing unemployment have only made things worse, as millions of additional Americans have been forced to join the lines at soup kitchens and food pantries in California and across the country.
? In 2006, California ranked last in food stamp participation among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a 2008 USDA report. (Note: The Federal Food Stamp Program was recently re-named the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.)
? At last tally, in 2007, 36.2 million Americans lived in homes that couldn’t afford enough food – including more than 12 million children.
? According to a Harvard study, hunger costs our country an estimated $90 billion per year in decreased worker productivity, impaired educational performance, and increased health care spending.

? Reform, streamline, yet increase the purchasing power of more than a dozen existing federal government nutrition programs, like food stamps and school meals.
? Provide universal, free school breakfasts in classrooms to all students, regardless of family income.
? Implement a national plan to increase living wage jobs and slash poverty.
? Give charities the resources they need to fill in the gaps after government has done its job.

To learn more, read the book and visit

An apple a day is out of reach for more than 36 million Americans.

This March, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is recognizing National Nutrition Month® in honor of the more than 36 million Americans that lack access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life. National Nutrition Month® is an education and information campaign sponsored annually by the American Dietetic Association. Those at risk of hunger often cannot afford preventative and follow-up health care services. For this vulnerable population, access to nutritious foods is vital in maintaining good health. Studies show that growing children need a balance of vitamins and minerals for cognitive and behavioral development.The Food Bank is a reliable source of healthy foods for low-income families, delivering over 3.5 millions pounds of fresh produce annually.

The volunteers pictured above are boxing produce for the Food Bank’s Farm 2 Kids program. through this program, kids in 40 schools in Contra Costa and Solano counties are able to take home 3-5 pound bags of produce every week during the school year.

We would not be able to continue this critical work and provide nutritious foods without the support of our community. Your food and fund donations are leading our efforts to creating a hunger-free community. Together, we can provide hope to hungry Americans for a better tomorrow.

To learn more about nutritious initiatives happening at the Food Bank, visit

One-woman door-to-door campaign against hunger

In a letter to the Food Bank, Clayton resident, Anna Chan says, “I am a one-woman door-to-door campaign against hunger. In less than one-month, I have personally harvested 1,500+ pounds of citrus from local trees in Concord and Clayton. There is no end in sight. If time allows, it will reach into multiple thousands of pounds of fruit collected. I am hoping to spread the word about my efforts, to spread awareness that fresh produce is accepted at local food pantries.” Read more about Anna’s efforts in the following local news:

March 11, 2009 Diablo Magazine

February 16, 2009 Mister Writer blog

February 16, 2009 Soccer Mom blog

And to Anna we would like to say: you are fantastic! On behalf of the Food Bank, our member agencies, and the 98,000 we help feed each month, thank you for your efforts. You set a great example for others in our community. What an outstanding, community-minded neighbor.

Book Launch

Please Join Us For the Bay Area Launch of Joel Berg’s New Book All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America.

Saturday, March 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm: Clayton Books, 5433 D Clayton Road, Clayton
Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:00 am: Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, 4010 Nelson Avenue, Concord

Admission is free. Please RSVP for these events by visiting Joel Berg’s website here.

I’m just a bill

Anti-hunger and nutrition advocates from across the nation arrived on Capitol Hill early last week to urge Congress to build upon President Obama’s request for additional dollars for child nutrition programs. Barbara Stanley and Lisa Sherrill from the Food Bank (far right) joined advocates from the School Nutrition Association and met with Congressman Miller (back left) to urge him to improve and expand the vital nutrition safety net for low-income children and families. We also took the opportunity to thank the Congressman for the boost to Food Stamps and The Emergency Food Assistance Program within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

We are looking forward to working with Congressman Miller and his staff on the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization. To learn more about this important piece of legislation, visit /give%20help/advocate/advocateCNR.html.