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Help Us End Hunger with NBC and Safeway

Help Us End Hunger with Safeway and NBC on  Saturday, November 22

 NBC Bay Area is once again teaming up with Safeway Stores for a one-day food drive on Saturday, November 22, kicking off a month-long effort to fight hunger with Bay Area Food Banks, a collaboration of seven food banks serving over 780,000 local residents each month. The “Help Us End Hunger” food drive will take place at 155 Safeway locations throughout the Bay Area making it easy for community members to participate and help feed their neighbors in need.

Despite the recovering economy, thousands of Bay Area residents still rely on their local food banks to put food on their tables each week. NBC Bay Area’s goal is to create awareness and provide our viewers an easy way to help out.

For the last five years, NBC Bay Area has partnered with Safeway to help stock the shelves of local food banks. In addition to providing on air promotion, the station will be enlisting hundreds of volunteers – including NBC Bay Area anchors and reporters helping at their own neighborhood Safeway Stores – on Saturday, November 22 to encourage shoppers to donate food items.

To make the donation process easier, a specially produced shopping bag filled with items that food banks need the most will be available for $10 at all local Safeway stores. Items include pasta and sauce, canned vegetables and important protein items like peanut butter and canned tuna. Once collected, the bags will be delivered to food banks for distribution to families in need. The bags will be available for Safeway shoppers to purchase now through December 25.

This year, NBC Bay Area and Safeway invited local chefs to participate in a recipe challenge by creating dishes using the food items provided in the donation bags. Recipe challenges will take place at various Safeway locations and will be broadcast live on NBC Bay Area. Try out some of their impressive creations with these recipes.

Last year, the food drive collected more than 134,000 bags at Safeway Stores across the Bay Area, amounting to over 1,600,000 pounds of food for those in need.

 

Your support makes the holidays better for families like Marla’s

marla williamsMonopoly money, something I remember thinking as a young child standing impatiently by my mother’s side, watching her tear paper coupons out of a book and hand them to the cashier. I was too young to understand anything different about the poverty my brothers and I grew up in. Not long ago, I found myself in a similar situation. A few years back, instead of waking up Christmas morning excited about opening presents like most children, my oldest daughter Lilia ran into my room and jumped on my bed exclaiming to the world that she knew it was Christmas because Santa had come and filled up the kitchen with food. That was my epiphany. I’m Marla Williams and this is the window into the life of a struggling family. A mother determined to break the cycle of poverty. A woman fueled by the love of my family, my community, my education, and leadership.

Our family has faced some challenges in the past few years. In July 2008, I held a job in the mortgage industry that paid fairly well. Two years later, I was laid off. Michael, my husband, is a veteran who has served two tours in Iraq. He was enrolled at Los Medanos College working on his associate’s degree at that time and employed full-time making minimum wage. Through the discouragement of the situation, the children had to adapt suddenly to several new changes at once. They went from a life that was comfortable to a life that left them struggling. They have slept in the backseat in the early hours of morning while I worked a second job throwing newspapers out of the car window to make ends meet.

My daughters, Lilia and Toria, know what it is to be hungry and go without. It is their love that keeps my husband and I motivated. I decided to seek out help within my community. I went to social services to see what programs I might qualify for to temporarily better our situation. After the frustration of being told we make too much money for some forms of assistance, I discovered that we could get help with groceries and fresh produce from the Food Bank.

After taking career training courses, I am helping my family change our circumstances, the holidays this year will look different for my girls. Michael is no longer working at a minimum wage job, however money is still tight. The Food Bank is the glue that holds struggling families together when we have expenses like a $900.00 car repair and there isn’t enough money left over to buy groceries. I went to the local pantry to pick up groceries just this morning so we can make it until his next payday this Friday.

I’m a dedicated individual when it comes to making our communities more resourceful for families in need. I believe in the power one individual can have to change not only their circumstances for the better but for the community around them as well. My family is on our way to no longer needing support from the Food Bank, but many like us are still in need of a helping hand. I will continue to fight to save community programs that are so vital to hundreds of families facing financial challenges in this economy.

Serafino Bianchi and the Bianchi Real Estate Team: Feeding Families and Saving the Planet one bag at a time.

Guest Post by the Bianchi Real Estate Team: Did you know that nearly 400 billion pounds of plastic bags are used and thrown away every year? Less than 2% of that gets recycled, and the rest ends up swirling around in our oceans, damaging the eco-system and marine life. Alameda County has taken action by banning plastic shopping bags, and many individual stores have begun to charge for bags as well, to encourage their patrons to bring their own and recycle.10463910_10152373751304272_4815320970385287736_n

In light of all this, Serafino Bianchi of the Bianchi Real Estate Team had an idea. What if he provided eco-friendly grocery totes for his clients? He could provide a nice service, help save the planet, and remind his clients to think of him the next time they wanted to buy or sell their home – all at the same time.

He ordered the bags, and started putting them into the hands of his clients. They were a huge hit! Both fashionable and functional, these beautiful reusable bags are making a scene at the local grocery markets in Pleasanton, Alamo, and Danville.20140715_152630

Serafino grew up in Italy and developed a taste for healthy, wholesome food at a young age. As a young boy, loved to pick blueberries, mushrooms, and chestnuts from the wild countryside. He loves to tell stories about how the chestnuts were dried and prepared in a huge two-story stove in his tiny hometown, and how his mother would make chestnut soup and bread from the dried nuts

Since Serafino’s bags are being used to carry food, he thought about how he could help those in need who didn’t have access to a healthy meal, and decided to team up with theFood Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County. The Food Bank has been serving the community for over 35 years, and serves approximately 149,000 hungry people in need every month.

Serafino and the Bianchi team will donate to the Food Bank every time someone buys or sells a home in 2014. This feeds a family of four for an entire month with the sale or purchase of just one home.

It’s a Tight-Knit Community at biStitchual!

stitchThe Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s barrel has arrived at biStitchual, a yarn and notions store located at 2406 San Pablo Avenue in Pinole. The shop is hosting a year-round food drive collecting nonperishable food for those in need within our community. The most wanted food items are peanut butter, cereal, tuna, canned meats, juice, pastas, canned beans, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned soups, etc. Come by the store, donate a few items and see the latest yarn we have and consider picking up those knitting needles or crochet hooks again.

Grocery Outlet Independence from Hunger

002 (2)UPDATE: As of 7/10, the Concord Grocery Outlet collected 4,644 pounds and they has 6 full barrels!

The Grocery Outlet store at 1840 Willow Pass Road in Concord has collected 1,693 pounds of food in three days for the kickoff of their Independence From Hunger Food Drive! They have prepacked bags for a variety of prices between $3 and $10 so everyone can afford one or more bags to donate. Let’s all help the Concord Grocery Outlet Store beat their total last year of 5,400 pounds of food donated in July. Buy a prepacked bag of food and place it in the barrel during the month of July. Every bag will provide meals for those in need in our community.

A Fairy Tale Food Drive

Employees of the Disney store at Sun Valley Mall were inspired to hold a food drive after volunteering at the Food Bank and learning about the need for food in their community. So far they have collected a fantastic 418 pounds of food which equates to 334 meals. The employees are continuing to collect food throughout 2014 for those in need in our community.

Before we brought them a collection barrel, they built a fairy tale can castle.
disney can castle

B of A Take a Day for Action

002Six Bank of America employees took a few hours off work on 2/18 to come and volunteer at our Concord warehouse. I needed some flyers attached to paper bags for upcoming food drives and the group of six had a great time chatting and stapling flyers on almost 2,000 bags in a record 90 minutes. The wonderful part is that the bags will come back filled with food to help feed those in need in our community. Thank you Bank of America volunteers!

Fill Up at Empty Bowls

Join the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano for a simple meal served in a handcrafted bowl and learn what the Food Bank is doing to get more nutritious food to people in need. Keep the handcrafted bowl you use as a reminder of all the empty bowls in our community.

Empty Bowls, presented by Chevron, is a community favorite. Two events will take place at our Concord warehouse on March 15th and Fairfield warehouse on March 16th from 4-6pm both days. Reservations are $15 for individuals, $40 for families of four of all ages.Thank you to presenting sponsor, Chevron and supporters, Wells Fargo Advisors, Diablo Magazine, CBS SFKaiser Permanente and Mechanics Bank.

Register for the Concord event on Saturday, 3/15 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Register for the Fairfield event on Sunday, 3/16 from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

 

Big thanks to event supporters:

AT&T PioneersWestAmerica BankRepublic ServicesAppel Law Firm LLP and Nutiva

Food Day Celebration

Post by Blanca Campos, Food Bank Nutrition Education Coordinator: Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. It builds all year long and culminates on October 24.

Food Day aims to help people Eat Real. That means cutting back on sugar drinks, overly salted packaged foods, and fatty, factory-farmed meats in favor of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and sustainably raised protein. Food Day envisions shorter lines at fast-food drive-thrus—and bigger crowds at farmers markets.

Locally, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano partnered with the Pittsburg Unified School District, John Muir Health, Contra Costa Health Services, Kaiser Permanente and the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market to celebrate Food Day at Willow Cove Elementary.  The celebration included carrot salad tasting, nutrition information, recipes, and fresh produce giveaway (courtesy of the Food Bank).  Over 150 parents participated and received fresh produce during the event.

We’ll be celebrating Food Day at Rancho Medanos Jr. High today!

Were you involved in Food Day this year? If so, please tell us how.

CALLING ALL ARTISTS!

SUBMIT YOUR DESIGN FOR A CHANCE TO BE FEATURED ON A FOOD BANK TOTE BAG

Nourishing the Community Artwork sample from Alameda County Community Food Bank

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is looking for original artwork that will be used to create custom eco-friendly tote bags. The tote bags will be used to generate funds that support our services for people in need.

WHO: Anyone may submit artwork in the contest. Enter as often as you wish. The winning entries will be selected by a panel of Food Bank staff members and announced by September 16, 2013.

WHAT: Artwork with a Nourish Our Community theme.

SPECIFICATIONS: Artwork should be 14” wide x 15” tall. If you submit your artwork electronically, .EPS format is best, but a high-resolution JPG is acceptable. You may also mail the original artwork to the Food Bank.

WHEN: Entries may be submitted between now and September 10, 2013. With each submission, please include your name, email address and phone number.

WHERE:
• email entries to rbraver@foodbankccs.org
• mail entries to “Tote Bag Design Contest”, c/o Rachel Braver, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, 4010 Nelson Ave. Concord, CA 94520

All tote bag art entries shall become the property of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, and may be reproduced for publication, sale, and/or promotion of the Food Bank.

PRIZES:
• Your artwork featured on the front of thousands of Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s tote bags in 2013-2014.

• Two bags (including your design) when they are printed.

• Prize of $250 

CONTEST RULES:

  1. Artwork must be original, entirely the work of the entrant and not in violation of any copyrights. Computer-generated art is accepted.
  2. We are looking for a fun and whimsical design relating to nutrition. Some ideas to help inspire you can be found here: http://bit.ly/178T85o and here: http://bit.ly/13LE7tc.
  3. You may use the Food Bank logo or our colors in your design but this is NOT required. http://www.foodbankccs.org/media-center/logos.html
  4. Black and white or full color is fine. Also full-bleed is available.
  5. The Food Bank reserves the right to design the side panels of the bag and the bottom as well as include sponsor logo in that space.
  6. All art entries shall become the property of the Food Bank, and may be reproduced for publication, sale, and/or promotion of the Food Bank. The Food Bank may also modify the design slightly, eg add our logo.
  7. Entries must be received at the Food Bank by 4:00 pm September 10, 2013.
  8. Winners will be notified by September 16.

ADDITIONAL IDEAS:

Use a fun saying like: “Give peas a chance”, “Veggies Rock!” (vegetable band), “Peace, Love & Veggies”