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Just 10 Days to Maximize Your 2012 Charitable Contributions!

Remember that all your contributions and donations to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano are tax deductible.  Take advantage of this before the end of the year and you will be able to claim your deduction in your next tax filing.  Your support during the holidays allows us to provide food year-round.

Please send your contributions to: Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, either by mail (PO Box 6324, Concord, CA 94524) or use the orange Donate button on our home page.  Thank you and Happy Holidays from the staff, Board and thousands of clients of the Food Bank!

For the added convenience of our donors, we will be open to accept donations on 12/31 from 8 am -4 pm. Join us for holiday treats at both of our warehouses.


Genentech Gives Back Week

Genentech has supported the Food Bank since 2004, providing funding for our programs, (including being a major funder of our Farm 2 Kids program in Solano County for the past 4 years) and sponsorship of Food Bank events. They even co-hosted a charity softball game between themselves and Alza Corporation, another big supporter of the Food Bank and also located in Vacaville, and the Food Bank was chosen as one of the recipients of the funds raised.

Genentech employees support the Food Bank on many levels – United Way donor-designated funds, Share Your Meal program, and of course volunteering with us. Last year the employees donated $239 during their Genentech Gives Back campaign. The Food Bank is proud to be participating again in their nonprofit expo on June 13 at their Vacaville plant. Genentech employees will be volunteering in our Fairfield warehouse on June 15. Both events are part of Genentech Gives Back Week.

As a major corporation in Solano County, Genentech is a role model for other businesses and exemplifies what it truly means to Give Back to the Community. They rock!

Sharing a Bountiful Year

I was sitting at my desk on the last business day of the year – December 30. Our hard working staff was happy to go home early. I had plenty to keep myself busy for a while longer, some neglected thank you letters, a few holiday cards to complete, and I, too, would be headed home.

Suddenly there was a knock on the Food Bank door. “Are we too late? Will you take our donation?” they asked. “Of course”, I said. “Please drive around back and I will meet you at the door.” figuring a few more bags of donated food is always a good thing.  What I saw when I unlocked the back door was staggering – two vehicles stuffed with food! I quickly got two carts to help unload the bounty. Confused, I asked, “Was this a group collection?” “Oh, no,” said Mike Bailey, “this is just from our family. We had a good year and wanted to give back.”

It took all five family members and myself to unload cases of canned vegetables and fruits, whole grain cereal boxes, and practically everything we at the Food Bank wish for. “We went to your website and printed off your most wanted food items so we were sure to get what is needed,” said Laura Bailey. All I could say is, “You sure did!” Their donation weighed in at 1,214 pounds of food, the equivalent of 971 meals!

Thank you to the Bailey family of Vacaville. Thank you to everyone who has donated a can of food, a dollar, or an hour of your time to the Food Bank in 2011. We are serving 132,000 neighbors in need every month and distributing almost 14 million pounds of food a year and WE COULD NOT DO ANY OF IT WITHOUT YOU. Best wishes for a wonderful 2012 and our sincere gratitude for your partnership in the battle against hunger.

Donor Spotlight – Paul Curtis

Paul Curtis of Curtis Designs, located in Vacaville, has been a supporter of the Food Bank for many years. His support has taken many forms – financial, inkind and volunteer. Paul is one of our biggest advocates in Solano County. He has coordinated holiday food drives with the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce and helped get the word out about the Food Bank’s new Fairfield facility last year, which resulted in a great turnout for our ribbon cutting. He has also generously provided the signage every year for our annual fundraiser, “An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden” as well as for other Food Bank events.

In Paul’s words, “It ‘IS’ all about the people. I really believe in being involved in “community” and in giving as much as possible back to our community.”

Paul has won many awards for his designs as well as his philanthropic efforts, including taking home the coveted Golden Bear trophy for “Best of Show Counties Exhibit” at the California State Fair in Sacramento an unprecedented six times for his work on the Solano County exhibit. He has been named “Business of the Year” by the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce and received the “Business in the Arts” award presented by the Solano County Arts Council in recognition of his dedication to promoting the local arts as well as receiving the “Spirit of Solano” award.

Curtis Designs has been serving the community almost as long as the Food Bank. For 32 years Paul has supported Solano nonprofit organizations. Some days he may don a tuxedo for a holiday event and food drive while other days you will find him working in his coveralls. No matter what he’s up to you can count on the fact that Paul is helping others, and enjoying himself while he does. The Food Bank is fortunate to count Paul as one of its friends and supporters.

The AT&T Pioneers Dish It Up: Feeding Families Healthy Food

In celebration of the AT&T Pioneers’ 100 years of service, volunteerism and philanthropy, Pioneers are joining together for one of the biggest volunteer efforts in history. Pioneers Dish It Up aims to feed one million people across the U.S. and Canada who face the daily challenge of “food insecurity”.

Between September 11th and 25th, the Pioneers will be addressing the issue of hunger by participating in the Pioneers Dish It Up project, which includes a healthy food drive, as well as other service projects aimed at feeding the hungry.

In partnership with Feeding America and its network of member food banks, a list of healthy food donations has been compiled to guide those who will be participating in the food drive. This project is just the latest effort by our local AT&T Pioneers of the George S. Ladd Council to support the Food Bank and our mission.


Supporting the Food Bank Pays Off!

Meet the lucky winners of the 2011 Roger Weiss Memorial “Beat the Recession” Drawing held at the Food Bank’s Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraising event on June 26th. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who purchased drawing tickets! The drawing raised over $15,000 for the Food Bank. Special thanks to our major drawing donors: California Pacific Federal Credit Union, Target, Walmart, Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, Aliene Adamson and Meyer Corporation.

Grand prize $2,500 cash  –  Darlene Bruno
$1,000 Target gift card  –  Karen & Jeff Vesely
$1,000 Walmart gift card  –  T. Lam
$750 American Express gift card  –  Lola Blomquist
500 $1 gold coins  –  Michael Bartlett
$300 American Express  gift card  –  William Hinson
Paula Deen Cookware  –  Don Nathlich
Baking Basket  –  Celinda Bustos
Ravenswood Wine  –  Ron Grant
$50 Visa gift card  –  Dan Rubio
$50 Safeway gift card  –  Robert Blain
Jump Sky High tickets  –  Elizabeth Karplus
Concord Chevrolet oil change  –  Rosalie Rowsey
$25 Safeway gift card  –  Letitia Robbins
$25 Safeway gift card  –  G. R. Smith

Those of you who completed our online survey by July 17 were entered into a drawing to win a $25 Safeway gift card and the winner is… (drum roll)… Brenda Mooney of Vallejo. Congratulations Brenda!

Again, thank you to everyone who helped make the 11th anniversary of An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden such a huge success! With your support, we were able to raise over $100,000 to help fight hunger in our community!

Having Fun While Raising Funds for the Food Bank

Another successful Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden has come and gone and the Food Bank wishes to thank everyone involved in helping us stock our warehouse shelves as we head into summer.

Over 500 guests mingled with media and Survivor celebrities as they sampled appetizers and wines from local vineyards, while listening to the cool sounds of Shabang!, northern California’s premiere steel drum band. Guests played games of chance, purchased raffle tickets in hopes of winning one of the many fabulous prizes, bid on beautiful and indulgent silent auction items and enjoyed perfect weather for an outdoor event. One guest happily reported that he found the perfect gift for his wife’s upcoming 60th birthday.

“Looks like Cabo”, a guest mentioned as he made his way into the lunch buffet area, commenting on the tropical color scheme and decorations that adorned the lunch tables. As guests enjoyed another outstanding meal prepared and served by Englund’s Café and Catering, Executive Director Larry Sly welcomed everyone and thanked our sponsors for their support, beginning with Presenting Sponsor Pacific Service Credit Union. The crowd participated in two rousing games of Heads ‘N Tails, with each winner receiving a $500 gas card! The Swinging Blue Stars entertained the lunch crowd with their nostalgic sounds. Food Bank clients spoke movingly about their experiences with food insecurity and how their lives have been transformed. Next up was the live auction, where unique, one of a kind fantasy packages were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

With the opening of the dessert tasting tents, guests had trouble deciding on which decadent confection to try first. The inaugural Cupcake Wars drew many observers, as guests cheered while judges sampled the various entries and awarded Best of Show to Mitchell Hughes.

Photo by Mike Dunn

Close to 100 volunteers and Food Bank staff had one goal in mind at the event – to make our guests feel welcome and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of food, wine, music and fun. If you missed out, there is always next year! Please save Sunday, June 24, 2012 and plan to attend the event of the summer!

Family Volunteer Day

Wow! What a great time our Food Bank families that participated in Family Volunteer Day had this weekend – an opportunity for younger children and their families to give back to the community! They boxed produce, learned about the Food Bank and who we serve, worked on art projects, and got to meet like-minded families. If you are interested in the next Family Volunteer Day – scheduled for Saturday, April 30 at our Fairfield facility and Sunday, May 1 in Concord please let us know.

Family Volunteer Day

Families boxing produce.

Family Volunteer Day

The event included a tour of the warehouse led by Executive Director, Larry Sly.

I’d like to invite you to stay in touch with us by simply joining our online community of caring citizens who receive occasional e-news related to their area(s) of interest.  Additionally, we hope you will read about the many community events ( taking place which offer a variety of ways to get involved and help support the Food Bank.