Archive for November, 2010

Child Nutrition Bill Scheduled for Vote on Weds – Your Help Needed for Final Push!

The child nutrition bill will go to the House floor for a vote on Wednesday. This critical bill will increase children’s opportunities for healthy meals and is an important first step to tackling both child hunger and childhood obesity. However, it remains uncertain whether the bill has the votes needed for passage, and your help is needed to ensure that it does.
boy with lunch

This is our last chance to get a child nutrition bill this year. Please take these two steps right now to make sure all children have the healthy start they need:

1.       Call your Representative. Dial 1-877-698-8228 and enter your zip code to be connected directly to your Representative’s office. Deliver this simple message:

Congress must not adjourn without passing the child nutrition bill. Please vote yes for the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307)!

2.       Forward this action alert. Share this action alert with everyone you know and ask them to call Congress.

We have one last chance to make our voices heard. You can help push the child nutrition bill over the goal line by calling your Representative today!

The Food Stamp Program is now CalFresh

On October 23, 2010, California’s Food Stamp Program was renamed! CalFresh – Better Foods for Better Living was chosen as the new name by people who are eligible for benefits.

CalFresh logoAs stated in the state’s Frequently Asked Questions document, “The CalFresh name and logo capture the essence of our great state and our strong ties to agriculture. The name and logo bring to mind the essentials for a successful food assistance program: accessibility, simplicity, freshness, and empowerment. It is a name that, as one food stamp recipient said, ‘encourages you to eat fresh food.’ It represents a healthy lifestyle and a ‘fresh’ look for this important program.” For more information about CalFresh, please visit /get-help/food-stamps.html.

Thanks For Giving part 2

You won’t believe all the help we are getting this holiday season to ensure that families in our community are fed! Look at all the wonderful support that has come in during the last few days! It is amazing.

help end hunger this holiday season


142 pounds of assorted food – Sons of Italy

70 turkeys – various anonymous donors

612 pounds of assorted food – Mindy LaSala

165 pounds of assorted food – Monte Vista Men’s Water Polo, Alamo

253 pounds of assorted food – Ygnacio Valley Christian School, Concord

238 pounds of assorted food – Lovelace, Stojanovich & Vujnovich Families, Clayton

130 assorted food – Gary & Barbara Fouk, Orinda

249 pounds of assorted food – Judy Link, Jean Harris & Kim Link, Diablo

6 turkeys (106 pounds of) – Michael Stead Porsche, Walnut Creek

80 turkeys & 780 pounds of assorted food – Mike Diaz, Contra Costa Electric, Martinez


45 turkeys – anonymous donors

1040 pounds of assorted food – 7 families, Danville

270 pounds of assorted food – anonymous


35 turkeys – anonymous donors

10 turkeys – Rich Rudolph, Benicia

8 turkeys & 38 pounds of assorted food – John Wingo, Orinda

178 pounds of assorted food – Stephen Croft, Martinez

122 pounds of assorted food – George Ramos, Antioch

25 turkeys – Kate Shield, Gallo Sales Co., Hayward

143 pounds of assorted food – Myrtle Farm Montessori, Concord

4 turkeys – Dwayne Moore, Fairfield

405 pounds of assorted food – Bay Medic Ambulance, Concord

We also accept donations of non-perishable food items at many locations throughout the community, including all Safeway and Whole Foods Market stores and Travis Credit Union branches in Contra Costa and Solano counties.  Many schools, community and religious organizations also sponsor food drives.

If you have perishable items to donate, you would need to bring it to either of our warehouses (addresses below). Please note we will be closed on Thanksgiving day and the Friday after.

Thanks for giving and making this holiday season a little brighter for our neighbors in need.

The Food Bank can accept food donations as follows:

Fairfield warehouse, 2339 Courage Drive, Suite F: Monday through Friday – 7:00 am – 3:30 pm;
Saturdays by appointment
Concord warehouse, 4010 Nelson Ave.: Monday, Friday, Saturday – 7:00 am – 3:30 pm;
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

Thanks For Giving

This Thanksgiving season we are extremely grateful for the generous donations we are receiving from our community.

To distribute the 12.6 million pounds of food required to meet the current need, enough for more than 10 million meals, we rely on community support and donations.

“We know that many families have had to tighten their budgets,” says Sly, “but we hope the public will see how desperate the need is this year.  Even small donations help.”

Overhead at the Food Bank, Sly notes, has been kept to an absolute minimum.  95 cents out of every donated dollar goes directly to food programs.

Financial donations allow the Food Bank to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to nonperishable food items, which are essential to providing nutritious food to those in need.  Financial donations can be made at; or by mailing contributions to PO Box 6324, Concord, CA  94524.

We also accept donations of non-perishable food items at many locations throughout the community, including all Safeway and Whole Foods Market stores and Travis Credit Union branches in Contra Costa and Solano counties.  Many schools, community and religious organizations also sponsor food drives.

We would like to thank those responsible for just some of the recent donations we have received.

Thank you to the 50th class reunion of Harry Ells High School in Richmond for the donation of $750!

High School Reunion

Harry Ells High School Reunion

We would also like to thank Len Hamernik of Martinez for the donation of 188 pounds of turkeys and 20 pounds of assorted food. Thank you to Mike Leischer for donating 25 turkeys and 61 pounds of assorted food last week.

We received 88 turkeys from Park Middle School in Antioch along with 1651 pounds of food and 26pounds of other meats. Thank you, Spartans!

The Handcrafted and Exotic Car Show in September raised $589.

Handcrafted and Exotic Car Show

Handcrafted and Exotic Car Show

IHOP held a special day before they officially opened and raised $1168 for the Food Bank. We appreciate all the support IHOP is giving the Food Bank!


IHOP Fundraiser

Without donations just like these, we would not be able to meet the need in our community. Thank you for helping us feed your neighbors in Contra Costa and Solano counties.

Raceway delivers more than three and a half tons of food

Infineon Raceway distributed more than 10,000 pounds of non-perishable food items to Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano on Monday during the raceway’s 10th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.  7,500 pounds made its way to the Food Bank’s new warehouse in Fairfield.

Infineon Raceway food

John Cardinale, Infineon Raceway's VP of Communications and Marketing, and his team deliver more than three and a half tons of food to the Food Bank's warehouse in Fairfield.

The amount marked the most Infineon Raceway has distributed in one year since the inception of the food drive in 2001. In total, The raceway has distributed more than 28,000 pounds of non-perishable food items to area food banks over the last 10 years.

FISH has been serving needy Sonoma Valley residents since 1970, while the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has been serving the community for 35 years,  providing food to more than 132,000 hungry people in need every month through a network of 200 charitable agencies.

“As far as donations go, it’s been a good season, but the need is way up this year,” said Lisa Sherrill, community relations manager for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. “We’re up 35 percent over where we were two years ago, in terms of requests for food. This donation from the raceway will be very helpful, that’s for sure.”

Infineon Raceway was not alone in its efforts. It was joined in the food drive by Innerstave; Pedroncelli Motorsports; tenants of the Infineon Raceway Motor Sports Industrial Park and Destination RKA in Windsor. Sonoma Gourmet of Cotati also made a generous donation of eight pallets of gourmet food items.

For more information about Infineon Raceway community events, call 800-870-RACE or visit

Food Fight 2010

The annual Counties Care Holiday Food Fight enters its seventh year this year.  Starting in 2003, Contra Costa County employees challenged Solano County employees to a Food Fight competition to raise funds for neighbors in their respective counties. The winning county was determined by the amount of funds raised per employee.

Funds are raised in a variety of ways including collecting donations for Food Bank Buy A Bags, holding bake sales, selling hot dogs, and any creative way county employees can think of to wrestle donations out of their fellow employees!  The prize for the winning county is possession of and bragging rights to the coveted Big Apple trophy for one year.

Local radio stations including KUIC, KKDV, and Gene Burns at KGO pitch in to help promote the drive, encouraging listeners to donate as a “friend of the Food Bank”. This brings in additional funding to the Food Bank however these funds are not included in the employee competition.

Solano County takes home the big apple trophy.

Solano County takes home the Big Apple trophy in 2009.

A total of $668,553.90 has been donated to the Food Bank since Counties Care Holiday Food Fight’s inception!

Each county has won three times and Solano County took home the trophy last year.  Although “friends of the Food Bank” donations do not help your county win the competition, your donation does help your neighbors in need win the fight against hunger.

The number of residents in both counties needing help with food grows daily. In 2009 the Food Bank provided food for over 108,000 residents per month.  In 2010 that number has jumped to over 132,000.   The need is great.  Please make a donation today!

Did you leave a food donation on your porch?

If you received a holiday food drive bag in your newspaper, the scouts will NOT be picking it up today (Saturday 11/20) unless they left a door hanger at your house last week. We are very sorry for the confusion. We are in need of the food and appreciate your generosity. Please take any nonperishable food donations to your local Safeway store or Travis Credit Union. You will see our bright red barrels near the entrance. Again, we apologize for the inconvenience.

Philanthropic Yoga Class

More and more people and businesses are finding creative ways to benefit the Food Bank.  Sometimes shaking things up pays off in a big way.

Yogaworks On the second floor of an industrial, concrete and metal building awaits an oasis:  yogaworks.  Angie Norwood and Colleen Millen, two certified yoga instructors, threw a fundraiser for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano aptly named, “Celebrate Your Life, Honor Another.” The philanthropic yoga class took place on Saturday, November 6th from noon to 1:30.  Myself and two other staff members from the Food Bank made our way on a lazy Saturday to downtown Walnut Creek with the intention of donating some food and brushing up on our downward facing dog.  We left feeling loose and relaxed, all stiffness and soreness curiously absent.  Each of us learned a new technique (or two), received a truly enlightening Savasana, and were blown away by the generosity of the attendees.  Many yogis brought more than the three required food items for admission.  Collectively, yogaworks raised a total of 169 pounds of donated food!  Many families will benefit from this generous giving. This is one more creative way to raise food.


Cassie Brislain, Agency Relations Coordinator

Pass the child nutrition bill

With just two legislative weeks to complete the nation’s business for the year, including the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, we need to make sure Congress passes this bill!

Here’s what you can do to help:

Call Congress!

If you haven’t already, call your Representative. If you have, call again. Dial 877-698-8228 to be directly connected to your Representative’s office and deliver this message:

“Congress must pass the child nutrition bill this year. Do not go home without passing the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act (S.3307).”

Thank you for taking action to help push the child nutrition bill over the goal line.

Scouting For Food

Scouts across the Bay Area will be collecting food on this one day food drive called Scouting For Food. The weekend before they will have placed door hangers on homes that they will return to on Saturday, November 20. Simply put a bag of food out on your porch that morning for the scouts and they will deliver it to the Food Bank. If you do not receive a door hanger, you can still donate by bringing the food to your local Bay Area Food Bank or one of the locations listed below.

Drop-off sites


Antioch LDS Church
3013 Rio Grande Drive, Antioch

Antioch LDS Stake Center
2350 Jeffery Way, Antioch

Brentwood LDS Church
1101 McClarren Road, Brentwood

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
4010 Nelson Avenue

Farm Bureau Hall
5554 Clayton Road

Oak Grove LDS Church
2930 Treat Boulevard

Danville LDS Stake Center
655 Old Orchard Drive

Hilltop LDS Church
4351 Hilltop Drive

Moraga LDS Church
3776 Via Granada

Pleasant Hill
Pleasant Hill LDS Church
555 Boyd Road

St. Mary Magdalen/ School
2005 Berryman Street, Berkeley

Benicia City Park
Second Street

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
2339 Courage Drive, Suite F

Elks Lodge
2850 Redwood Parkway