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Archive for November, 2012

New Vistas Christian School In Martinez California Helps Feed The Hungry

 

When the Food Bank barrels were delivered, Rachel, one of our students called a local Nob Hill Grocery, Walmart, and Ace Hardware store, to ask if we could place barrels in their businesses. They were all extremely cooperative and the public response to our barrels was overwhelming. In the three weeks that we held our drive we collected from students, and participating businesses around 1,500 lbs. of food, as well as a $100.00 check donated to the Food Bank by a generous donor. We would like to say a big “Thank You,” to all of the businesses and people in the community who supported our efforts.

ABC7 Share Your Holiday

There is no other way to put it, hunger just hurts more during the holidays.  For many in the Bay Area, this time of year shines a spotlight on just how much food insecurity affects their lives.  That’s why ABC7 and Bay Area food banks are working together to collect much needed food and cash donations this holiday season.  Everyone can take part on Wednesday, December 12 with ABC7 ‘s ‘7 Ways to Give’ for  a holiday gift that really makes a difference!

Throughout the day ABC7 (KGO) will be broadcasting live from Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek.  Familiar faces from ABC7 News will feature stories from Food Bank donors and clients, and Food Bank staff will be on hand to let you know how your donation supports the programs and services that help us put food on the table for over  149,000 people every month.

7 Ways for you to share include;  dropping off food and monetary donations to Broadway Plaza from 5:30 am to 6:00 pm, Texting  FEED to 80077 and donating  $10.00 to benefit all Bay Area food banks, Calling 877-525-3775 to make your donation over the phone, Click it to donate online from our website, write a check made out to “Food Bank” and mail to  ABC7 FOOD DRIVE, 900 Front Street, San Francisco, CA   94111, volunteer at a food bank or local soup kitchen or pantry, and Like us on Facebook to stay updated and get involved.

Call Congress Today! It’s Easy!

Today (November 28), Feeding America and other national partners are hosting a national call-in day to mobilize advocates across the country in opposition to cutting hunger-relief programs and protecting tax incentives to encourage food and fund donations as part of a deal on the Fiscal Cliff.

Call in Details:

As Congress debates how to address the looming Fiscal Cliff, we must urge them to do it the right way.  Help us show Congress that cutting programs that help feed struggling families is not the way to balance the budget.

Here’s how:

  • Call using Feeding America’s toll-free hotline at 866-527-1087.
  • Listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted. Connect to your Senators first.
  • Once you are connected to your first Senator, state that you are a constituent and give your name and the town you are calling from.
  • Let them know you are calling about anti-hunger programs and deliver this important message:

I urge you to oppose cutting SNAP and other hunger-relief programs as part of any deal on the Fiscal Cliff and to continue to protect tax incentives to encourage food and fund donations to food banks.  Cutting programs that put food on the table for hungry Americans is not the way to balance our nation’s budget. 

  • Be sure to repeat the process so that you speak with your Representative and both of your Senators.

 

Give Back this ‘Giving Tuesday’

Originally posted on the Concord, CA Patch: As the people at Giving Tuesday say, “We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals….Wouldn’t it be great to have a day for giving back?”

#GivingTuesday is all about turning our attention toward helping others.

This year #GivingTuesday is on Tuesday, November 27th and nonprofits, businesses and supporters from all over the world will take part. It’s about all of us trying to make the world a better place.

What can you do?

  1. Help us spread the word about #GivingTuesday! You can do that right now by inviting your friends and family to share in the celebration of giving.
  2. Choose your favorite cause and make a contribution of time or money on or around #GivingTuesday!
  3. At the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano we always need additional supplies of shelf-stable food, and the holiday season is an excellent opportunity to ask the community to donate the food needed. Safeway and Whole Foods each have an incredibly simple way for people to help. Safeway offers shoppers a $10 bag of food items for purchase. You can buy these $10 bags and drop them in the Food Bank barrels. CBS5 is partnering with Whole Foods Market for their holiday food drive. Customers have the option to buy a $5 Breakfast, $10 Lunch or Dinner, or $25 Full Day Meal for donation at the register. (Meals typically feed a family of four.) Customers may also round out an order and donate any dollar amount.In addition, we ask people to bring other food donations to these conveniently located collection sites.
  4. Text FOODBANK TO 80077 to donate $10.00 to Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 80077 to STOP. Text HELP to 80077 for HELP. Full Terms: www.mGive.org/T.

 

How will you give back this Giving Tuesday?

Thanksgiving Day Family Tradition Unites Friends, Families, and Communities

20th Annual Forma Gym Walnut Creek Turkey Trot Unites Friends, Families, & Communities for Education and Health

 This year’s Thanksgiving Day in Walnut Creek will offer a bit more than turkey and football.  For the 20th consecutive year, Forma Gym (formerly Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness Club) will be giving back to its local community with its annual Thanksgiving Day Charity Turkey Trot Fun Run/Walk. The 20th Annual Forma Gym Walnut Creek Turkey Trot 5K/10K/Kids’ Runs takes place in beautiful downtown Walnut Creek in an effort to promote a city-wide celebration of fitness, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle, with registration fees and donations going directly to the local public schools, the Contra Costa & Solano Food Bank and the Wellness City Challenge. This is a great event for the entire family and a fun, generous way to kick off your Thanksgiving Day (November 22nd).

The event, produced by Forma Gym, is supported by the WC Chamber of Commerce and will benefit the Walnut Creek Education Foundation (WCEF) and P.E.A.K. Education Foundation for the 3rd consecutive year.  The foundations, who together help support nearly 10,000 K-12 public school students in Walnut Creek, have received $85,000 from the last 2 Turkey Trots combined. “We are proud to be working with our community members and business partners to give back to our schools that desperately need funding to offset repeated/on-going  state budget cuts during this economic downturn”, states Bob Boos, Race Director for the event. “Physical Education programs in schools have been hit especially hard and with our ever-growing epidemic of childhood obesity, it is critical that we step in and help any way we can to promote physical activity and support the community we live and work in.”  In addition this year, Forma Gym has added the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano and the Wellness City Challenge as beneficiaries.  All beneficiaries are 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations that benefit the local community.

This event originally started as a fun way to encourage members and their families “to move their feet before they eat” on Thanksgiving morning, but has evolved from that concept into a tremendously successful charity event, which has raised money for multiple charities over the years including the Special Olympics and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Last year, the event attracted 4600 participants from 32 states, which produced a donation to the schools in the amount of $60,000.  This year’s event could potentially attract as many as 6000 participants.  “Now, we’re working to spread the word to the community and media in hopes that people and other small businesses like ours will support a healthy tradition and a great cause” says Forma Gym Owner President/CEO Robert Jackson. “We have a passion for healthy lifestyles and public service and are proud to partner with our beneficiaries to get people involved with the Turkey Trot, what better reason than to help our community and future generations receive much needed funds, better education and healthy lifestyle and nutrition habits.”

Downtown Walnut Creek not only offers runners and walkers a beautiful venue, it offers a centralized location and is adjacent to plenty of downtown parking and businesses. The first race kicks off at 8:00 am, followed by a Costume Contest and Kids’ Fun Runs scheduled for 10:00am. Pre-registration is available via mail, in-person at Forma Gym at 1908 Olympic Blvd. or online at www.wcsf.net or www.webconnex.com. Participants may also register on the morning of the event. All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt, goody bag stuffers and enjoy refreshments, music, kids’ activities and a morning to remember!

Partnering to End Hunger

Originally posted in the Vacaville Reporter: Working at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has taught me that trying to feed people in need is all about relationships. We try to run the best food distribution service we can, but accomplishing that depends on volunteer support, financial support and the generosity of the community.

One of the ways we increase the work we do is when we effectively link with community partners.

We always need additional supplies of shelf-stable food, and the holiday season is an excellent opportunity to ask the community to donate the food needed to support a hungry community.

We are able to join with Safeway and Kraft Foods to create an incredibly simple way for people to help.

Safeway offers shoppers a $10 bag of Kraft and Safeway-branded food items for purchase. Safeway allows the Food Bank to place collection barrels in all of its stores so that people can buy these $10 bags and drop them in our barrels.

In addition, the Food Bank asks people to bring other food donations to these conveniently located collection sites.

The cooperation is expanding as Safeway works with NBC Bay Area to help publicize the Safeway Help Us End Hunger food drive. NBC Bay Area has organized one major collection day this Saturday. Newscasters from NBC Bay Area will be joined by local Kiwanis clubs outside of Safeway stores talking to people about the need to help end hunger.

By raising the visibility of the issue of hunger and showing people how this drive helps us feed those in need, NBC Bay Area, Safeway, Kraft Foods and Kiwanis Club members are making a difference.

Collaborative relationships between food manufacturers, retailers, media and community groups make the Safeway Help Us End Hunger food drive a success.

Contra Costa and Solano County Employees Feel Like a Million Bucks!

Contra Costa and Solano County employees are approaching the 2012 Counties Care Holiday Food Fight with a new mission – to hit the $1 million dollar mark in fundraising for the Food Bank. The annual County Food Fight began in 2004 as an innocent little competition to do good in our communities when Contra Costa County employees decided to challenge Solano County employees to raise funds for the Food Bank.  Solano County accepted the challenge immediately and the Food Fight was born.  Employees in both counties wanted to help their community and dove into the Food Fight with gusto, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Each year, the county bringing in the highest dollar amount per employee wins possession of the  “Big Apple” trophy. In the past eight years, possession of the Big Apple trophy has bounced back and forth from Contra Costa County to Solano County many times.

This year the Food Fight will hit a milestone.  At the end of Holiday Food Fight 2011, during its eight year history, the counties had raised a grand total of $927,804.82!  County employees will need to collectively raise just over $72,000 this year to hit the unbelievable $1 million dollar fundraising mark.  Can they do it in this poor economy?  The Food Bank thinks they can, and is asking you to donate online in honor of your county through December 31st.

County employees can visit the Donate page of the Food Bank website and select “CC County Employee” or “Solano County Employee” from the drop down list.

If you would like to donate in honor of your favorite county, visit the Donate page of the Food Bank website and select “Friend of CC County” or “Friend of Solano County“.

Thank you Solano County and Contra Costa County employees.  What an incredible milestone to reach!

Waypoint Homes Move and Match

Waypoint Homes Launches Holiday Food Bank Promotion Company Pledges $25 Donation to Local Food Banks for each Move In in November & December, Plus an Employee Match.

Waypoint Homes, a pioneer in the REO to rental industry, today announced a promotion to benefit local food banks in areas where the company has a footprint. For each “move in” to a Waypoint home during November and December, the company will donate $25 to a local food bank. The company will also match employee gifts up to $25 per employee during these months.

“Making a difference in our communities is the foundation of our business,” said Doug Brien, co-founder and managing director. “Instead of letting foreclosed homes sit empty, bringing down property prices and becoming hot spots for blight and crime, we purchase them, renovate them to a high standard of quality, and rent them to residents looking for a stable home where they can put down roots in the community. Food is one of the things that makes a house a home. We’re proud to help.”

Colin Wiel, also a co-founder and managing director, said, “Innovative technology is the thing that makes Waypoint’s business possible, and we admire the creative ways food banks have incorporated technology to amplify their results. Through surplus food, good connections, and an effective distribution network, a food bank can take $1 and turn it into multiple dollars worth of food. That’s an amazing impact.”

Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, the area where Waypoint Homes got its start, said, “As we finish up the third year of the recession, food insecurity remains a big challenge for families in the U.S. – one in six Americans doesn’t have enough to eat. It’s a big help when companies like Waypoint throw their support behind our efforts to feed our communities.”

Waypoint Homes works with local realtors and contractors in the regions where it operates to purchase, renovate, and rent single-family homes. Residents can take advantage of the company’s trademarked Lease Plus Rewards program, qualifying by completing a personalized Financial Fitness consultation and earning points during their lease term for paying their rent on time, maintaining their home, and completing additional financial education seminars. At the end of the lease term, they can convert their “Waypoints” toward the purchase of any home in any market where Waypoint does business, exchange the value in cash or choose from a variety of different upgrades to their home provided they are current on their rent.

About Waypoint Homes: Based in Oakland, Calif., Waypoint Homes (www.waypointhomes.com) has created a next-generation real estate company with an innovative business model to help address the lack of liquidity contributing to the prolonged U.S. housing crisis. The Waypoint solution centers on buying distressed single-family houses, renovating them, and then leasing them to residents via innovative leasing programs that are designed to provide a path to future home ownership for the residents. A leader in the emerging REO-to-rental industry since its founding in 2008, Waypoint has acquired more than 2,500 homes in California, Arizona, Illinois, and Georgia and is rapidly expanding nationwide.

Blackhawk Country Club Turkey Shoot Out (no turkeys were actually shot at this event)

If you live in San Ramon, you know there is a rather large herd of turkeys that wanders at will around the open space and yards off of Crow Canyon. We can’t say for sure if they wander onto the Blackhawk Country Club golf course, but hopefully on November 10th, they made themselves scarce, because on that day there was a Turkey Shoot Out going on and golf balls were flying!

On a rather brisk day, 97 golfers played a round and donated 64 turkeys to our Food Bank. A portion of the entrance fee also benefited the Food Bank. To top off this event, an extra $50 was donated from a gracious member who didn’t even play in the event.

Everyone had a great time playing for a good cause and a big round of applause came when Tony Gill, Head Golf Professional at Blackhawk, announced that they had all sponsored the 64 turkeys!

Thank you Blackhawk golfers, for making this Thanksgiving a little easier for the people we serve.

To learn more about ways you can help during the holidays, visit the events page of our website.

The Habit Burger and Grill Grand Opening

We love it when great food meets the Food Bank, it’s like everything comes together perfectly.  When the Habit Burger and Grill had their grand opening at their new location in Walnut Creek in October, not only could you get a great lunch, but 100 % of the proceeds went to support the Food Bank.  That’s right, 100%!

There was a line out the door of people wanting their delicious charburgers, salads, and sandwiches!  Personally, the grilled chicken salad was delicious, and so filling it was hard to finish in one sitting.

This was another great example of how our community pulls together and supports those in need.  That day the Habit donated $1,380.00 that went to the Food Bank to purchase necessary staples and produce  that went to seniors, children individuals and families in Contra Costa and Solano counties.

Thank you Habit Grill for becoming one of our Hunger Fighters!