Archive for January, 2010

Cupid’s Cash

Looking for the perfect low cal Valentine gift?  Purchase Cupid’s Cash for your loved one!  Available exclusively at California Pacific Federal Credit Union, 4075 Nelson Ave. Suite E, Concord.  This is real United States currency….bankable and spendable!  All proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.  Only $2.50 includes Valentine greeting card, envelope and $1 Cupid’s Cash!

Cast your vote for the 2010 Stampy Awards

The nominees are in…let the voting begin!  California Food Policy Advocates have received nominations from across the state to honor the efforts of individuals working to improve the Food Stamp Program in California.  Please help our very own Kathi Kelly from Contra Costa County win! By voting, you are rewarding efforts to improve the program, as well as identifying actions and attitudes you want replicated. The winners will be announced at the 11th Annual Food Stamp Forum on Thursday, February 18, 2010 in Sacramento. To cast your ballot, go to, check the box by Kathi Kelly and click “SUBMIT” at the bottom of the page.  Polls will close at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 31, 2010.

Here is why we think Kathi should win:

Kathi has been an outstanding advocate for improved access to Food Stamps.  In the past four years, she has trained hundreds of employees from the county and community based organizations by partnering with the Food Bank to presently “Myths and Facts of Food Stamp Eligibility” on a quarterly basis.  She regularly prepares and shares additional materials to explain food stamp eligibility at quarterly luncheons where people working on food stamp outreach gather to share experiences.  Kathi continually strives to interpret the FS regulations in a way that improves access.  She developed a countywide mail-in application process that allows people to complete the DFA 285 A1 and mail it to her.  She then sends it out to the appropriate district office.  While the number of applications coming in through this effort are small (an average of 35/month) this has been a valuable tool for food stamp outreach workers to use.  Kathi’s sensitivity to the needs of Food Stamp clients is shared by the EBT team in Contra Costa County who managed the September transition to a new vendor with an absolute minimum of disruption to the clients.  During a time of county cuts in staffing, Kathi’s continual “can do” approach and her openness to questions and concerns of advocates has truly made a difference in Contra Costa County where Food Stamp enrollment is up over 25% from last year.

Las Lomas Lends a Helping Hand in Food Drive

Although the current economic crisis has lead to more donations to local charities and food banks, there are more people who need the donated food more than ever. “We are serving over 108,000 people, 30 percent more than two years ago,” said Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s community relations manager Lisa Sherrill. “People are coming to us because they have been laid off and can’t find work or they just don’t make enough to make ends meet. In Contra Costa County, it would take four full-time minimum wage jobs to earn enough for the basic necessities.” Approximately 33 percent of the people served at the local Contra Costa and Solano county Food Bank are children.

Las Lomas helped the cause with its annual Food Drive, which ran from Nov. 9 through Nov. 20. According to Community Service Commissioner Natalie Herndon, the school raised 2200 pounds of food this year. “With the shape of the economy, this year we were not expecting a very big food drive, but we were pleasantly surprised,” said Herndon. “The student body really helped out at a time when the food banks need it most. And I wish everyone could understand how grateful the Contra Costa Food Bank is for all donations.”

Junior Anna Jameson spent long hours along with the Community Service Board to help make this year’s Food Drive the best it could be. “Planning the food drive was a lot of fun and hard work,” said Jameson. “We visited the food bank for ideas and were able to put a lot of those ideas in action.”

Leadership separately rewarded the two classes that brought in the most cans and the most money for the Food Drive with a pizza party.

James Morgan’s Chemistry class raised over 1,700 cans, winning the pizza party. “I was very proud of how my class raised to the challenge. They were truly Knights,” said Morgan. “I have a history of winning the can food drive in my previous teaching assignment. It was for a great cause and I was able to crush Mr. Schreiber class like a bug.”

Sophomore Miranda Fulks donated 40 cans, contributing to the class’s win. According to a text, Fulks said, “We were proud we won. We brought in so many cans. Most of us brought like 40 cans each. And it felt good to donate and help a lot of people out.”

Japanese teacher Andrew Schreiber’s Japanese 3 class also won a pizza party for bringing in the most money among all of the classes. “My classes in the past have chosen to donate; however, this year was very special,” said Schreiber. “With many parents and families being hit by the financial downturn, to donate to people in need is wonderful”.

By Erin Weckel, guest blogger and Los Lomas student

Pound for Pound Challenge Kicks off on The Biggest Loser

New Year’s is approaching! What’s your resolution? To hit the gym more often, shed those extra pounds that have been pestering you, to give back to your community or all of the above? You’ve come to the right place.

The Biggest Loser” on NBC is sponsoring the 2nd Pound for Pound Challenge. General Mills has been gracious enough to donate 14 cents per pound pledged on the Pound for Pound Website. The Challenge Kicks off on The Biggest Loser tonight at 8 p.m.

Let’s make the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano the #1 food bank in America! We are already second in California! So go ahead and think about your goal, pledge the pounds, and let your friends and family know! Remember- for us to get the credit, one must type in a Contra Costa or Solano County zip code. We have until May 2010 to meet our goals.

Together we can change our lifestyles and help those that need it most. Let’s show America that we can be THE BIGGEST LOSERS!

Sign up for the Pound for Pound Challenge.

Good luck and most importantly… HAVE FUN!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the Pound for Pound Challenge at or 925-676-7543.