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Renee

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 www.bit.ly/foodfromthebarcc 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.

September Events Recap

September was full of fun events that people enjoyed while supporting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Our Special Events Manager, Renee, tells you all about them. For more information on these events or future events, please visit the events page of our website.

It was a gorgeous Sunday at Winterhawk Winery on September 4th where we were invited to spend the day and share about our Food Bank. The winery was filled with people who came out to support us while enjoying the wine and music. The band (Coast to Coast) had the crowd off their feet and dancing to their favorite songs. The guests were able to visit a few vendors to check out plants and jewelry from local vendors such as Boucher Plants, Alptowne  Accents and Pat’s Purple Geranium. Our raffle was a hit with a signed Brian (Bearded) Wilson baseball and other great prizes. Thanks to Winterhawk for donating a portion of the wine sales to our food bank.

KGO Newstalk 810 joined forces with Bay Area Food Banks to fight hunger on Friday, September 16th with a live radio event dedicated to raising awareness and much needed funds for local food banks in all nine Bay Area counties. This one day event was a huge success helping us to share our stories and mission to so many people in our community as well as raising much needed monetary donations for our neighbors in need.

Contra Costa Builders Exchange hosted their Annual Golf Tournament benefitting our Food Bank. It was warm and sunny for golfers on September 23rd at Shadow Lakes Golf Club in Brentwood. Over 70 golfers played the course the rewarded themselves with an evening of dinner, raffle and awards. CCBX as well as the staff of Shadow Lakes Golf Club made the day a memorable one.

The Willows Theatre Company put on another wonderful Sing for Your Supper event on Saturday September 24th. J’LaChic had the whole place out of their seats and on their feet dancing to the music of Motown. Many thanks to Esses Productions and Willows Theatre Company for putting together a great event. In case you missed it: The final Sing for Your Supper of the series will be held on Nov. 5th.

Our local refineries (Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, Shell Oil Products US, Valero Benicia Refinery and ConocoPhillips) as well as S&S held a food drive beginning August 1st and ending with a 10 year anniversary celebration fundraiser on September 17th. The 10th Year Anniversary started at the Food Bank with motorcycle run ending at the Shell Clubhouse raising much needed funds for our upcoming holidays. It was a great day filled with food, music, raffle and fun. Their continued support has made a huge difference in helping us help our community.

 

It’s All About Orange!

Although we committed to wearing orange on Wednesday, some of us started a little early. Last Sunday, Winterhawk Winery invited us to spend the day sharing with their guests about our Food Bank while they enjoyed the wine and music. On this gorgeous day, we showed up wearing our orange, ready to talk. The winery was filled with people who came out to support us. The band (Coast to Coast) had the crowd off their feet and dancing to their favorite songs. The guests were able to visit a few vendors to check out plants and jewelry from local vendors such as Boucher Plants, Alptowne Accents and Pat’s Purple Geranium. Our raffle which included a signed Brian (Bearded) Wilson baseball was a huge success! All in all, everyone had an amazing time and the staff of Winterhawk Winery are the nicest people you will ever meet. This place is a must to stop at if you are ever in the area.

Staff and volunteers at Winterhawk Winery sharing about the Food Bank with guests.

While we are talking about orange and events, we have a few more coming up this month. Between golf, music or talk radio, there is something for everyone. We have an event for everyone to take action against hunger!

Starting with KGO Newstalk 810 which is joining forces with Bay Area Food Banks to fight hunger in 2011. KGO Fights Hunger Day is Friday, September 16 and will consist of a live radio event dedicated to raising awareness and much needed funds for local food banks in all nine Bay Area counties. They will actually be out at our Food Bank on Monday, September 12th interviewing our clients and agencies about the need in our community. Make sure you tune in all week!

Next Contra Costa Builders Exchange will be hosting their Annual Golf Tournament benefitting our Food Bank as their charity. The event will be held on Friday, September 23rd at Shadow Lakes Golf Club in Brentwood. Shotgun Start at noon. Dinner, Raffle and Awards at 6:00pm. We are still in need of sponsors and golfers, so give us a call!

Now if music is more your style, you don’t want to miss this on September 24th at the Willows Theater in Concord. Willows Theatre Company in conjunction with Esses Productions presents J’LaChic’s Tribute to MOTOWN…AND MORE!  It’s the second of the Sing for Your Supper Concert Series Benefiting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Willows Mainstage, 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord.  (In The Willows Shopping Center.)  One show only, Saturday September 24 at 8:00 pm. Esses Productions host these musicals each year and they are definitely a must see!

Last but not least, our local refineries (Tesoro, Shell, Valero and ConocoPhillips) as well as S&S are still holding their food drives until September 15th.

As you can see, many of your friends and mine are doing what they can to take action! Please help us by supporting our events.

GO ORANGE!!!

Grainger Foundation Helps Hungry Children

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s Food for Children program was recently the beneficiary of a $5000 grant. On July 27, 2011, Board President Stephanie Corona gratefully accepted a check for $5000 from Richard Marquez, a local Branch Manager with the Grainger Foundation. The Food Bank was awarded the grant through the Foundation’s Community Grant Program. The grant requires the money be used to directly provide food assistance to children in need. The Food for Children program provides supplemental nutritional assistance once a month to families with children age 4 to 5 years old who meet the WIC income guideline of 185% of poverty. Since 28% of the Food Bank’s emergency food recipients are children, the Food Bank was delighted to receive this generous support.

The Grainger Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Grainger Inc., one of the leading suppliers of safety and facility maintenance products serving businesses and institutions in North America. They are a strong supporter of local community efforts which address emergency and disaster needs.

Elvis Kicks Off the Sing for Your Supper Series

Campbell Theatre in Martinez was the place to be on August 6th when The Willows Theatre Company, with ESSES Productions, presented the first concert in this year’s Sing for Your Supper concert series to benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

The evening was a musical tribute to the early songs and hits of Elvis Presley performed by the amazing Jim Anderson. His “Early Elvis Tribute Show” impressed us. He sounded just like The King! Jim had the crowd moving in their seats. He worked his way through the crowd singing to the guests up close.

Another great talent was our Food Bank Ambassador, Bob Foskett, who spoke on our behalf.

I can definitely say my first trip to the Campbell Theater was worth it from the intimate setting to the menu and friendly staff. I would encourage you to see a show there soon!

The Food Bank would like to thank Samantha Samuels and Steven Shore for putting on an amazing show as always as well as David Faustina from The Willows Theatre Company, Walnut Creek Marriott for sponsoring the series. Applause also to Jim Anderson for the best show I have seen in a long time and to Bob Foskett for his support.

For information on the next Sing for Your Supper event and other Food Bank events, visit our events page.