Author Archive


Attend the Food Bank Annual Fundraiser to Fill Shelves When Donations Are Low

Enjoy a relaxing day in the garden with us on Sunday, June 23rd for the Food Bank’s 13th annual fundraising event, An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden.

The fun starts at noon with wine, appetizers, and live music by Big Cat Tolefree and the Hipnotics Band.  Bid on silent auction treasures and play some games of chance with big prizes before making your way into the garden for a delicious gourmet lunch, prepared by Englund’s Catering.  Renee Richardson from KFOG will emcee.

All the food, drinks, entertainment and tours you can enjoy at only $90 per person, or two for $170. Bring extra cash, check or credit card if you wish to participate in the auction or some of the games.

Reserve my spot today

If you can’t make the event, you can still win big with the Beat the Recession Raffle. You could be a lucky winner of $2,500 cash or other valuable prizes! Email Kathy Gleason with your name and address to be mailed tickets
For a sampling of the fine foods offered in the Tasting Tents, Auction prizes and reservations for this sell-out experience visit

Help Us Win $45,000 to Provide Fruits and Veggies to Kids!

The Farm 2 Kids program provides children in low-income areas with 3-5 pounds of fresh produce per week. Sometimes it is the only food they have for dinner.

As part of their Fighting Hunger Together initiative, Walmart is giving out grants for the most innovative and effective programs that help alleviate child hunger. Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is in the running to win one of 100 grants, but we need your help to win!

 Here’s How it Works

April 1 through April 30, go to to vote for our project. You can vote once a day, so please vote as often as you can.

You do not have to “like” Walmart on Facebook to participate, but do need a Facebook account. Contact Rachel if you have more questions or need Facebook help, or 925.677.7011.

Funding for child hunger programs is especially critical considering the need that exists. Here in Contra Costa and Solano counties, 1 in 6 children struggle with hunger. The Walmart grant would go a long way to helping ensure that all children have access to the food they need to thrive.

Please share this with your friends and family!

Sutter Hospital provides $6000 to Hungry Solano County Neighbors

Sutter Health has generously selected the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano to receive a $6,000 donation as part of a quarter-million-dollar donation to 29 food banks throughout Northern California.

“I’m very pleased to give what we can to our local food bank, especially when so many families are in need,” stated Terry Glubka, CEO of Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo.

Over the past three years, Sutter Health donated $762,500 to food banks in local communities which enables the purchase nutritious food for those in need.

Besides the medical center in Vallejo, Sutter Health operates care centers in Fairfield, Rio Vista, Vacaville.

4 Stars for the Food Bank

For the third consecutive year, the Food Bank has been awarded the highest rating (Four Stars) by America’s premier independent evaluator on nonprofit organizations, Charity Navigator.

In a July 1 letter to Executive Director Larry Sly, Charity Navigator CEO Ken Berger wrote, “We are proud to announce Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has earned our third consecutive 4-star rating for its ability to efficiently manage and grow its finances. Only 13% of the charities we rate have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America. This “exceptional” designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust.”

No. of Stars

Qualitative Rating Description
  Exceptional Exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its Cause.

Bay Area Refinery Motorcycle Run/Food Drive

A beautiful sunny day on September 17th began with the roar of engines when over 100 motorcycle riders and custom car enthusiasts from the Bay Area refineries gathered at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, to celebrate the success of the 10th Annual Bay Area Refinery Motorcycle Run/Food Drive. They continued their ride through the colorful back roads of Martinez, stopping at each Poker Run Stop before heading to the Shell Clubhouse for an afternoon of food, friends and music. Each refinery began with a food drive, which kicked off August 1st, collecting over 2,185 pounds of food and $22,696 by the time of the celebration. All donations and food collected during the drive from the Refinery Run will benefit the Food Bank.
The motorcyclists and custom car owners were employees and contractors of Bay Area refineries, which included Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, ConocoPhillips, Shell Oil Products US, and Valero Benicia Refinery as well as their families and friends.
The celebration’s final destination was a barbecue held at the Shell Martinez Refinery Clubhouse where the riders, drivers and passengers were treated to musical entertainment provided by Joe Rose and the Howlers, food by Englund’s Café and Catering, vendors such as Joyce Cid Massage Therapy, Bead For Life and Interstate All Battery Center, raffle prizes, and a special guest appearance by members of the Oakland Raiderettes who helped sell raffle tickets and take photos. Events like this would not be possible without the generous support of the sponsors. Presenting Sponsors included all of the participating refineries; Poker Route Sponsors included RSC, Killer Eye Kandy, and S and S Supplies and Solutions; Contractor Sponsors included Timec, RJ Roberts, Carone & Company Inc., Harder Mechanical, KM Industrial, Starcon, Tanco Engineering, ERM, Certified Coatings Company, Benicia Fabrication and Machine, and Environmental Packaging.
The great thing about the Refinery Run is that companies that are competitors in the market place cooperate with each other in order to feed hungry people.

KGO Fights Hunger

During the week leading up to September 16th, food banks across 9 Bay Area counties were thrilled at the chance to share our mission to end domestic hunger with the audience of KGO Newstalk 810 AM, San Francisco.

In the weeks leading up to the September 16th radiothon to fight hunger, KGO broadcast interviews with Food Bank clients, employees and executive directors. Listeners heard touching stories like the mother who gave up her only meal for the day because her daughter was still hungry and the impact food banks have on communities in need (listen to recorded interviews here). As Food Bank employees, we were also humbled to be reminded of why we go to work every day.

Generous listeners have donated almost $200,000 to date, spread out among the participating food banks, with over $26,000 for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. With more checks still coming in we are calling this radiothon a big success. Thank you to KGO 810 AM for giving our clients a voice, and to all the participants who spoke so well on behalf of the hungry in the Bay Area.

Listen to the KGO interviews of Food Bank clients and staff here.

Jeffery Schaub of KGO and Marla Williams, working to feed her family.

California One Step Closer to Eliminating Fingerprint Imaging

Guest post by David Lee, Director of Government Relations & Advocacy for Feeding America: After a lot of legislative activity over the last two weeks, August 31 the California Senate passed an amended version of AB 6, the bill that would remove the fingerprint imaging requirement for CalFresh (the state name for SNAP) applicants and also move the state from a quarterly reporting to semi-annual reporting.

Due to opposition from the County of Los Angeles, the bill was amended to eliminate fingerprint imaging for CalFresh only applicants, but keep the requirement for CalWorks (TANF) and for those who receive both CalFresh and CalWorks.  Since of the entire California nutrition caseload, 78% received CalFresh only and 22% received both CalFresh and CalWorks, this is still a major win in the battle to fully eliminate fingerprint imaging in CalFresh.  More importantly, the bill eliminates federal funding for the state to maintain the system.

After achieving concurrence in the Assembly, the bill will head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.  If signed, California will follow Texas in eliminating fingerprint imaging, leaving only Arizona and New York as the last two states in the union to use it.

To learn more about the Food Bank’s advocacy efforts visit


When watermelon shows up in the markets around June, I eat as much as I can get my hands on because it just isn’t worth it any other time of year. Last week, the few melons that didn’t make it into my cart ended up in the warehouse at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

Summer means an abundance of fruits and veggies like tomatoes, zucchini and my favorite fruit, watermelon. Sometimes for Food Bank clients, picking up fresh summer produce at the store just isn’t an option with limited food dollars. The Food Bank was thrilled to receive about 2,000 fresh watermelons (11,000 pounds!) that were distributed through our agencies and programs like the Food Assistance Program and Farm 2 Kids.

It was fun for us to see that many watermelons in our warehouse and even better for the families who got to enjoy one of summer’s biggest rewards.

Rachel’s tips for fool-proof watermelon selection:

  • Look for a melon with a deep yellow ground spot (pale or white will only disappoint).
  • Pick it up. The melon should be heavy for its size (of course it’s a heavy watermelon, but some are heavier than others which means juicier).
  • Now with one hand under the melon, give the top a little smack. If it vibrates through to your bottom hand you have picked a winner. Too much jiggle and it’s overripe, too little and it’s just not delicious.

It takes some practice, but after eating a few for comparison you’ll never end up with a bland or mealy melon again.