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Kudos to Solano and Contra Costa County Employees For a Record-Breaking 2014 Holiday Food Fight!

The Food Fight is a friendly competition between county employees focused on raising funds for the Food Bank.  Starting in 2004, the counties vie for bragging rights and ownership of the Big Apple trophy for one year.  Determined to win the trophy back from Solano County this year, Contra Costa County  employees made an extra effort to raise funds.  The winning county is based on a dollar amount raised per person. During the holidays, Contra Cost County raised $109,412.91 resulting in $11.96 per employee while Solano County came in at $30,812.84 or $11.70 per employee.  This year, Contra Costa County hit the overall million dollar mark, bringing in over $1 million dollars since the first Holiday Food Fight. The Food Bank and its clients sincerely thank employees of both counties for their spirit and persistence in coming back year after year to help their neighbors in need!

Let The 2014 Counties Care Holiday Food Fight Begin!

HAM_Child4This year marks the 11th year that employees of Solano and Contra Costa counties will raise funds for their neighbors in need and compete for possession of the coveted Big Apple trophy!  The annual Holiday Food Fight began in 2003 as a friendly competition to raise funds for the Food Bank.  In the past eleven years county employees have creatively raised over $1 million dollars for the Food Bank! The county raising the most dollars per person wins bragging rights and possession of the coveted Big Apple trophy for one year.

Many county employees work directly with low-income clients and understand their need for help with food.  Many county employees want to make their community a better place to live in and take an active role in improving their neighbors’ lives.  You too can help by donating online at Through the end of the year, scroll down past PayPal, click on the drop down menu and select “Friend of” Costa County or Solano County employee.

Congratulations Solano County Employees!


We think it is never too late to give thanks and congratulations for an amazing deed! Congratulations to Solano County employees for winning the 10th annual Counties Care Holiday Food Fight! Contra Costa and Solano county employees raised a grand total of $133,528.96 during the 2013 holiday season. On a per capita basis, Solano County employees raised $10.64 per employee while Contra Costa County employees staged a valiant fight coming in at $10.14 per employee. Solano County won bragging rights and possession of the coveted Big Apple trophy for another year. Thank you county employees for faithfully fighting to end hunger in our counties.

A Fight to the Finish

The Food Bank salutes Solano and Contra Costa county employees for hitting the million dollar mark in the ninth annual Counties Care Holiday Food Fight!

The Food Fight began in 2004 when Contra Costa County employees challenged Solano County employees to raise funds for the Food Bank during the holiday season.  Solano County employees replied “Bring it on!”

The winning county every year is based on the dollar amount per employee. Solano County won the first challenge, and employees from both counties have been competing for possession of the coveted Big Apple trophy every year since.  In the 2012 Food Fight, Solano County employees won by raising $10.38 per person and Contra Costa County came in second with $9.70 per person for a total of $129,054.26.

Over a nine-year period, county Food Fighters have raised an amazing grand total of $1,027,310.65! The friendly competition also makes a big difference in the community.  Thank you county employees, your cumulative donations have provided over 2 million meals for our neighbors in need.  Job well done!

Little Faces

Today I was reminded why I work for the Food Bank.  During my normal Sunday grocery shopping trip, I heard someone say “That woman just pushed a whole shopping cart of groceries out the door!”  Within seconds, several employees ran after her.  I was near the front door and it was easy to see the commotion.  An old van was parked just outside the front door.  The mattress tied to the top indicated the family was homeless. A man sat in the drivers seat and two little wide-eyed kids watched  as mom and the cart of groceries was escorted back into the store. As they walked past me the mom repeated “I’ll pay!  I’ll pay!” At this point I continued shopping.  A few minutes later I overheard a clerk say that when they ran her credit card, it was denied. Fortunately for this family, she was allowed to leave without prosecution. I was grateful that the staff recognized a family in crisis.

I looked for the family in the parking lot but they were gone.  I wanted to tell them about the Food Bank resources like Food for Children and the partner agencies with emergency food pantries like the Bay Area Crisis Nursery (for her small children) and the family homeless shelter. I hope I see them again.  I also hope they reach out to help, because it is available.

What a sad reminder about the necessity of the Food Bank and other nonprofit agencies. I don’t think I will forget this family and the little scared faces peering out the van windows. Although this scene will haunt me, I am happy that I was at Safeway when this happened. This was a highly motivating experience.  This is why I work at the Food Bank.

If you know someone in need of food assistance, please visit or call 1.855.309.FOOD

Kathy Gleason
Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager
Food Bank of contra Costa and Solano

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!

Food, Fun and Friends in the Admiral’s Garden

A heartfelt thank you goes out to the hundreds of guests attending the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s 12th annual An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden presented by Pacific Service Credit Union, for making the day a fantastic success!   Even the weather was on board, giving us a beautiful sunny day with a cooling breeze drifting off the water.

One of our lucky Soroptimist guests won $2,500 in the California Pacific Federal Credit Union raffle!

Our guests enjoyed gourmet appetizers crafted by our celebrity chefs paired with fine wines in the Tasting Tents, and grooved to the soulful blues sounds of Big Cat Tolefree. Vigorous bidding took place in the Silent Auction Tents and in the Live Auction, and happy winners claimed their treasures.  Englund’s Catering served a delicious lunch in the garden while our creative auctioneer Donnie Schwartz played FUNdraising games with our guests. A wonderful treat after lunch was a variety of delicious cookies from the Family Cookie Company and Ice cream by Fentons Creamery!  Many guests took the opportunity to tour St. Peter’s Chapel with its beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows, and the Naval Museum as well as both historic mansions.

Chef Michael Dunn of Yankee Pier in Lafayette served up the “Filet Mignon of oysters”.

The day wrapped up with our second annual Cupcake War, where guests sampled scrumptious mini-cupcakes while our celebrity judges had the difficult task of picking a winner!   The day couldn’t have been more perfect, the icing on the cupcake being that the Food Bank raised over $121,000!  That’s the equivalent of 241,000 meals for those in need in our community. We hope you join us for next year’s extravaganza!



Bring on the Cupcake War!

Back by popular demand – the Cupcake War at the Food Bank’s annual Admiral’s Garden event on June 24th on Mare Island in Vallejo!  There is a new twist this year.  Thanks to Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery for their sponsorship, the winner of Cupcake War will receive $500!  A panel of celebrity judges will pick the winner, and guests will sample  scrumptious  mini-cupcakes.

Do you know a chef or master baker who would like to participate in the Food Bank’s Cupcake War 2012?
Please contact Kathy Gleason  for details.

Chevron Gets Creative with Empty Bowls

Special thanks to our corporate partner Chevron for their ongoing support of a variety of Food Bank programs and events.  Chevron sponsors the Food Banks Farm 2 Kids Richmond and Concord programs, bringing 5-6 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to 2,600 children weekly.  Chevron supports the Food Bank’s June Admiral’s Garden fundraiser as well as the annual Holiday Food Drive. In addition, we thank Chevron for sponsoring the Holiday note card art competition, and the upcoming Empty Bowls event.

Speaking of Empty Bowls, Chevron volunteers visited the Food Bank on Friday, February 17 to paint bowls for these March 24 and 25  events.  Feeling a little insecure about their artistic abilities at first, the volunteers rallied and completed over 100 beautiful ceramic bowls! Designs included flowers, fruit, vegetables, butterflies, lady bugs, trees, abstract and geometric designs and more.  Thank you volunteers!

Empty Bowls will take place at the Food Bank Concord warehouse at 5 pm on Saturday, March 24, and at the Food Bank Fairfield warehouse at 3 pm on Sunday, March 25. Go to  to learn how you can participate in Empty Bowls and to register to attend online.

Thank you Chevron for your participation and sponsorship of Empty Bowls, and for your ongoing support throughout the year. With the help of corporate partners such as Chevron, the Food Bank has been able to reach our commitment to feed over 132,000 Contra Costa and Solano county residents in need each month.

Come to our Concord warehouse from 9-1 on Saturday, March 3rd to paint an empty bowl of your own, or get your own limited edition Chevron bowl by registering for Empty Bowls Concord, or Empty Bowls Fairfield. View the full photo set on Facebook.

Big Wins in the Holiday Food Fight

Once again, Solano and Contra Costa Country employees stepped forward to help their neighbors in need during the holidays. Not easily discouraged by the poor economy, layoffs and furlough days, county employees raised a grand total of $116,133.90 to benefit the Food Bank!

In the employee to employee competition, Contra Costa County retains the big apple trophy by raising $9.91 per employee compared to Solano County’s $8.11 per employee.

The Food Fight competition began in 2004, when Contra Costa County employees raised $57,012.70 and Solano County employees raised $15,091.  In the eight years of the competition, Contra Costa County has won the Big Apple trophy five times and Solano County has won three times.  In the eight year Food Fight history, county employees have raised a very grand total of $927,643.73 for the Food Bank!

Although each county fights to win possession of the trophy each year, all employees understand that the real winners in this competition are the thousands of residents their hard earned donations dollars will feed.

“Foodie Frog” (aka Kate Sibley) joined Food Bank Executive Director Larry Sly and Dan Hoffman from the Contra Costa County Sherriff’s Office to kick off Holiday Food Fight 2011. Foodie’s mission was to motivate CC County Food Fight team leaders with a “ribbetting” presentation!