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Valero Takes Aim at Hunger

Clay shooters to aim to provide over 100,000 meals!

A strong supporter of the Food Bank for many years, Valero’s Benicia Refinery placed an increased emphasis on the mission and work of the Food Bank among  its employees and contracting companies during a Month of Caring.  Valero employees were encouraged to provide volunteer service sorting food orders, packaging fresh produce, and distributing food to those in need.   The employees responded by donating 460 hours of volunteer service.  In addition to supporting the volunteer effort, Valero also sponsored the Inaugural Sporting Clays Invitational held at Birds Landing, October 4, 2013.  Thanks to the support of numerous contractors and volunteers, the event raised $55,000 for the Farm 2 Kids program.  When asked about Valero’s involvement with the Food Bank, John Hill, Vice-President and General Manager of Valero’s Benicia Refinery said that he and his fellow employees love volunteering at the Food Bank because we can see the direct and positive results of service.  Food comes from the farms, volunteers package it for distribution, and people receive it the next day.  As far as having a direct, timely, and positive impact for people in need, it doesn’t get much better than that!

Brinderson Holiday Event, in support of the Food Bank

Brinderson employees and guests kicked off the holiday season on November 30th with a wonderful evening at Zio Fraedo’s Restaurant in Vallejo.  The tradition at Brinderson is to raise money for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano at this annual event, and for Brinderson managers to personally match employee contributions.  Brinderson continues to grow in the Bay Area, and as a result we will be able to deliver a significantly larger contribution to the Food Bank than last year.

Brinderson provides industrial maintenance, construction, turnaround, and engineering services to clients in the western United States.  Our local customers include other strong supporters of the Food Bank, such as Tesoro, Shell, and Phillips 66.  We are proud to team with others in the community and support our local Food Bank.

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.

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!

11th Annual Refinery Run

Although our local refineries support our Food Bank year round, they also like to begin our holiday season early collaborating to fill our shelves with food. Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, Shell Oil Products US, Phillips 66 and Valero Benicia Refinery began collecting food and money the beginning of August and end mid-September with a fundraiser celeabration which includes a Poker Run, sponsored by RSC, S&S, and Contra Costa Electric, motorcycle and custom classic-car show, music, great food and lots of laughter.

These refineries as well as their contractors and employees of both give time, money and food to help their neighbors in their community. It is great experience working with all of them towards our mission. So far this year, they have been able to raise over $18,300. Contra Costa Electric, Inc., TC Inspection, Bay Area Instruments & Electric, Inc., Mistras Group, Inc., Pinnacle, and Transfield Services, our Contractor Sponsors, also deserve big thanks for all the support they give to the Food Bank.

The Shell Clubhouse, jumping with music by Bourbon Fixx Band was powered by DC Solar and the food was good as always when using England’s Café & Catering. Great vendors, fun games and a variety of raffle items made this day complete. We would like to thank all of you for caring and helping your neighbors in need.

Food From the Bar 21st Annual Fund Drive

Contra Costa County attorneys will once again hold their annual competition to benefit the Food Bank from May 7th thru May 18th. Since its’ inception, this competition has raised more than $891,000 and collected 54 tons of food for hungry area residents. This is a great way for law firms to have fun while collecting food and raising money for the Food Bank. Law firms compete for the highest per capita contribution in their respective categories. Some firms form teams to compete and law offices use a variety of creative fundraising ideas like Bake Sales, Carnival Days, White Elephant Sales, Treasure Hunts, and Eating Contests. The Walnut Creek law firm of Archer Norris will once again organize a Walk-a-Thon around downtown Walnut Creek.

Even better – this year there is a Cyber Competition! You can fight hunger with just a click from your computer! Support your favorite attorney or law firm from the convenience of your home or office by donating online through Contra Costa County Food from the Bar’s Virtual Food Drive! Just go to and choose from 10 different food staples, select a quantity and “checkout,” to donate! Select your lawyer or law firm from the Company drop-down menu to see who can donate the most. ! The Food Bank can make your dollar go further. Because of special agreements with manufacturers and buying in large quantities they can purchase at less expensive prices than you find in grocery stores. But make sure your donation is submitted by 4:30pm on May 18th!

Event Recap – Empty Bowls 2012

The wonderful hand-painted bowls, which each guest takes home, symbolize all of the “empty bowls,” in our communities. This year, bowls were painted by Chevron and Diablo Magazine employees as well as Food Bank staff and volunteers.

Concord guests were treated to opening remarks by Stacy Moffit from Chevron, and Lori Castillo of Aim High Day Care was the featured speaker. Fairfield guests were welcomed by the Food Bank’s Executive Director, Larry Sly.  Larry Leach of Vallejo Seventh Day Adventist Community Services addressed the guests in Fairfield.  There were several raffle prizes as well as musical entertainment. Concord High Jazz Band performed at the Concord event and Crystal Middle School Band entertained at the Fairfield event.

Soup was provided by two of our agencies, Bay Area Rescue Mission and Loaves & Fishes as well as local restaurants (Old Spaghetti Factory, Tony’s, Huckleberry’s, Crepes and More, Sandy’s 101 Omelet’s). Coffee in Concord was donated by Starbucks (Locust Street in Walnut Creek) and Peet’s (Fairfield).

Empty Bowls has become one of the Food Bank’s most popular events and now sells out at the Concord location. This was the first year the event was held at the new Fairfield warehouse and it too was well attended. The agency was fortunate to have this year’s event sponsored by Chevron Corporation, with media coverage provided by CBS5 and Diablo Magazine, and print collateral sponsored by Mathew Rinn of State Farm Insurance.

Tell us your favorite thing about the Empty Bowls event in the comments.

November Events Recap

When Wood Group Field Services employees decided to help out the Food Bank there was something a little fishy about it. They chartered two fishing boats from Berkeley Marina and motored out on Saturday, November 19th with high hopes of bringing back some Dungeness crab and rockfish, as well as some cash for the Food Bank.  They succeeded on all fronts, and Dave Pritting stopped by our Fairfield office to drop off a $588 donation and tell some mighty tall fish tales to boot. Thank you to all who contributed to make the lives of our neighbors a little less difficult at this special time of year.

What better way to start off Thanksgiving Day than feeling the burn at Blackhawk Crunch Gym before indulging in a feast? That was the idea when the Gym alerted members about an early morning spin class, “Ride with Purpose”, with donations benefiting the Food Bank to help feed the hungry in their community. $510 was raised by participating members that morning!

The Walnut Creek Sports and Fitness Club 19th annual Turkey Trot was held on Thanksgiving morning. Participants were asked to bring food for the Food Bank and staff were on hand with their truck and barrels to collect the food starting at 6:30am. Food was deposited by people dressed as turkeys, pilgrims, and even a can of cranberry sauce dropped by our truck to pose with a Food Bank barrel. A total of 465 pounds of food were

collected and many people of all ages dropped by to talk about the Food Bank and where they could donated food or money.

Brazen Racing held their Nitro Turkey Thanksgiving Run at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline in Richmond with over 800 dedicated racers joining in the morning fun. These are dedicated runners who love the challenge of hills and rugged trails. The racers were very happy to donate $45 and 821 pounds of food to fill the van. While it was raining in Walnut Creek we had some sunshine and a beautiful rainbow over the bay. What a great day to collect food for our community. We can hardly wait for both runs next Thanksgiving Day!

October Events Recap

IHOP Walnut Creek would like to thank everyone who came out to support the Food Bank on Tuesday October 18th. A total of $842 was generated that day. We look forward to next year’s event being even bigger and better. Your support is greatly appreciated.

ManorCare Walnut Creek celebrated its 20th year providing care for the community with two back-to-back events to benefit the Food Bank. The first, a Health Faire, contributed $840. The second event was their Annual Open House ~ a Casino Royale party this year. For the third year ManorCare hosted a Silent Auction at their Open House, with 100% of proceeds going to the Food Bank. The totals were unavailable, but with 65 generous donations from individuals and organizations we know it will be a significant contribution.

The Robert Jenson Salon was a sophisticated, elegant setting for the fundraiser they hosted in honor of their 27th anniversary. The event, co-hosted by internationally acclaimed photographic artist Bambi Cantrell of Cantrell Portrait Design, could only be described as “exquisite.” More opening night gala at an art gallery than a fundraiser at a hair salon, chicly dressed attendees enjoyed fine wines, artfully displayed delectable Asian-inspired hors d’oeuvres, and generously participated in raffles for equally elegant prizes, all while raising several thousand dollars to benefit the Food Bank.