Archive for April, 2010

Panera Bread shares the warmth with the Food Bank

Fueled by the generous contributions of its customers, Contra Costa and Solano counties area Panera Bread® bakery-cafes in Antioch, Concord and Vacaville are donating a total of $8120.35 to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Panera Bread’s Operation Dough-Nationâ recipient, contributed in 2009.  The funds will be used to further Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano mission of helping the needy in the Contra Costa and Solano neighborhoods.

For the past 17 years, Panera and its franchisees have helped dozens of charitable organizations through Operation Dough-Nation, a program that allows Panera Bread and its customers to make a positive impact in the community in several ways.  For example, a portion of all customer donations made in Community Breadbox™ containers near the registers are matched with cash by participating Panera Bread locations for distribution to local charities, such as Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.  And at the end of the day, local cafes also donate unsold bread and baked goods to local hunger relief agencies through the company’s Day-End Dough-Nation™ program.

“We are proud to share ‘Panera Warmth’ with members of our local community throughout the year,” said Todd McDermott, Joint Venture Partner “Bread is an important part of our culture – it brings people together – and Panera is dedicated to giving back to the people who have welcomed us into their neighborhoods and invited us to share in their lives.”

clockwise from the lower left: Adis Bajramovic, Brandy Earnest, Todd McDermott, Lisa Sherrill, Mark Stuart, Emily Diefenbach, Brian Jackson, David Warehime.

Nationwide, Panera Bread and its franchisees have helped numerous non-profit organizations through Operation Dough-Nation. Thanks to the generosity of its customers, Panera Bread and its franchisees will donate more than $1 million to dozens of charities raised in 2009. Over the years, contributions have helped organizations including local food banks and pantries, Meals on Wheels, Make a Wish Foundation, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and many others. Panera Bread bakery-cafes collectively donated over $50 million worth of unsold bread and baked goods in 2009 to help people in need.

For more information on how to support local Operation Dough-Nation programs, visit your neighborhood Panera Bread bakery-cafe.  To find the closest location, visit

Help us Stamp Out Hunger

Letter carriers will be collecting food for the Food Bank as they deliver the mail on Saturday, May 8. This is our largest one day food drive bringing in over 200,000 pounds of food every year. If you leave a bag of nonperishable food by your mailbox, prior to your regular mail delivery, on this day, your letter carrier will pick it up and deliver it to the Food Bank.

You can also donate online through the Virtual Food Drive, if you prefer by visiting: /events/upcoming-events.html. When you donate, be sure to choose your post office from the “Company” drop-down menu. This will allow your local letter carrier to get credit for your donation.

Text stamp6 to 30305 for mobile reminders about the Food Drive. (2 -3 texts; standard text message rates apply.)

Help us promote the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive

Send us your photo.

Send a photo of you promoting the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive (May 8, 2010). You can make a sign or a banner, spell it out in the sand, get creative. Use cardboard, paper, fabric… whatever material you’d like. Take the photo by yourself, with your family, with your dog, at your favorite landmark, or even in your front yard.

Email your photos (or videos) to

We’ll post a photo gallery on here on our blog, Picasa album, facebook page, YouTube and other social networking sites. Submit your photos by noon on May 7 and we will randomly pick a winner from the submitted photos to win a collectible Food Bank die-cast truck.

Tell your friends about the campaign using your social networks online like Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. Or just do it the old fashioned way in person or by phone.

Privacy Information

We respect your privacy. Just because you send us your photo via email doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be signed up to our enewsletter or receive letters from us in your mailbox. But we think you’ll like what we have to say, so why not give us a try and sign up online at You can always unsubscribe at any time.

Souper Bowl 2010

Congregations around the country participate in this one-day ecumenical fundraiser, held each year on Super Bowl Sunday.  This is an opportunity for the youth in local churches to help feed families and children in our community. Eighteen of our local churches participated in collecting almost $8,800 along with donations of food. Over $10 million was raised nationwide this year! Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next year’s event, which will be on February 6, 2011.

Tune in to Idol Gives Back on April 21 and Support Your Local Food Bank

The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is among the charities that will benefit from this year’s American Idol fundraising special, Idol Gives Back. Be sure to tune in to Idol Gives Back on Wednesday, April 21 at 8/7c PM on FOX. We’re excited not only for their generosity, but also for this great opportunity to spread awareness about hunger in our country — a true national emergency! See how you can get involved in Idol Gives Back and support the fight against hunger in America.

The Emmy Award-winning television event and musical celebration will raise awareness and funds to benefit various U.S. and international charities, during the Top 7 Results Show.  Donations made to the Idol Gives Back Foundation will help the children and families most affected by these tough economic times. You can get more information about the event and hear from Season 9 Finalists on the new Idol Gives Back section of American Idol’s website ( Visitors to the page can make donations prior to the event or join the Help Me Give Back program and raise their own funds by creating individual fundraising pages or joining fundraising teams.

All of the funds raised by the Idol Gives Back Foundation and granted to Feeding America will support the campaign for a Hunger-Free America ensuring that the Feeding America network will continue the fight against hunger with innovative programming and persistent advocacy.

Ready, Set, Bag! Supports Local Food Banks

Ready, Set, Bag! is partnering with local food banks to feed hungry families. Together with their fans and sponsors, Ready, Set, Bag! is generously donating 100% of their advertising revenue from their recently launched channel and $1.00 of each ticket sale (both in theatres and on DVD) for their Ready, Set, Bag! documentary film. Ready, Set, Bag! has already donated enough funds for over 4,500 meals and arranged for other online artists including JibJab, AutoTuneTheNews, Sarah Austin and Mike Relm to help create content and contribute to this overall effort to help fight hunger.

Ready, Set, Bag! Documentary Film
Every February competitive grocery baggers from across the country meet in Las Vegas to vie for the title of National Best Bagger. Ready, Set, Bag! explores the lives of eight state champions, following these delightfully fun, quintessentially American characters from local contests to their moment on the national stage. Ready Set Bag! has been selected for the upcoming Sonoma International Film Festival. The screening will be taking place on Saturday, April 17 at 9:30 am. For more information, visit:

Help support your local food bank by checking out and learning more about Ready Set Bag!

Become a fan of Ready, Set, Bag! on Facebook:

James Hunter at the California State Championship

Child Nutrition Reauthorization Advances to Senate

On March 24, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry unanimously approved the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill.  The advancement of this critical piece of legislation is a step forward in achieving an end to childhood hunger by 2015, and has the potential to increase access to nutritious food for children during the school day, afterschool, in the summer, over weekends and extended school holidays.

Now the current bill is moving to the full Senate for a vote later this spring or early summer.  So it is a critical time for us, as caring citizens, to ask our legislators for their support in fully funding Child Nutrition Reauthorization in order to end child hunger in this nation.

We urge you to simply call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and tell your senator “we need a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill as soon as possible at the President’s proposed level of $10 billion over 10 years so we can achieve the President’s goal of ending child hunger by 2015”.  A comprehensive and fully funded Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill needs to pass quickly so that our children do not have to wait another year to have access to the nutritious foods needed to lead healthy and productive lives.

For more information about engaging in advocacy efforts during Child Nutrition Reauthorization, please click here to join our mailing list.

George Miller reads a book about nutrition from children served by the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County in his office in Washington, DC.

Youth Ag Day 2010

Over 3,000 fourth graders from all over Solano County came to the Fairgrounds in Vallejo on March 17 to learn about health, nutrition, agriculture, and the world they live in for the annual Youth Ag Day 2010.

The Food Bank ran an activity to teach kids about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables while incorporating a component of physical activity.  By looking at the rainbow of fruits and vegetables on the wall, the student s learned the importance of eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables every day.  They then played a game tossing around a beach ball to encourage some movement and exercise.  Each child had to name a fruit or vegetable in a different category.  For instance, “red fruits and veggies” or “fruits and veggies you would put in a salad.”

After a long and exciting day, the children (and the Food Bank staff and volunteers) left tired, healthy, and happy.