Author Archive

Sharon

Wired for Giving

“I feel extremely fortunate to work with such a caring group of people who, much like the Food Bank, are always ready to help out.” said Mark Sheeley, of Contra Costa Electric, Inc., when speaking recently about the generous employees at his company.

Contra Costa Electric and its’ employees have been contributing to the Food Bank for many years, donating food, turkeys, and money. Contra Costa Electric and its’ employees have been contributing to the Food Bank for many years, donating food, turkeys, and money. They were a 2012 sponsor for Admiral’s Garden, and in September, rather than a donation of $500 or even $1000, they contributed $3500 to the Refinery Run, because their business is doing so well.  Contra Costa Electric believes in giving back; they also provide ACE mentors for high school students, contribute to overseas troops, as well as the “Taking Kid Safety to the Street,” program which draws attention to the plight of missing children.

Employees at Contra Costa Electric who go above and beyond receive the Diamond Award and their Pink Hard Hat Program is October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is a quality company in so very many wonderful ways. The Food Bank is grateful to be the beneficiary of Contra Costa Electric’s philanthropic efforts and the contributions of its’ caring employees.

They Come…They Carry…They Care

It is said that the strength of a nonprofit lies in the hearts and minds of its volunteers. Working on the planning of our annual An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraiser certainly substantiates that claim in so many ways. While volunteers make a difference every day at the Food Bank, during June and particularly on the day of this special event, they are an indispensable extension of our staff.  Whether it was setting up the event itself, warmly welcoming our guests as they arrived, quickly and efficiently getting people registered, serving at the lunch, assisting with the auctions and games, and then of course the clean up afterwards, our dedicated volunteers were a vital part of making an exceptional Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden on Sunday, June 24th.

NCL Rolling Hills and NCL Vista Oak mothers and daughters, the Contra Costa County Employees Team, the AT&T Pioneers, the Food Bank Ambassadors and numerous other individual volunteers helped throughout the day from early until late.  They wholeheartedly support our cause and really work to help us make a difference to all of those we serve. They are the “volunteer faces of the Food Bank” and we are so grateful for all that they do!

If you would like to volunteer at the Food Bank, please contact Sharon Zeppegno at  szeppegno@foodbankccs.org or call 925.6767543, ext. 209.

One Sunday Makes a Big Difference

Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church (also known to the community as LOPC) has been a long time supporter of the Food Bank. They have collected food donations for many years and are one of our longest running food drives. LOPC is a huge presence in the community always working with local, national and international partners to help those in need. On Sunday February 27th hundreds of volunteers helped organizations with projects throughout our community.

A very ambitious group of volunteers led by “Team Leader” Kerry Kinrade were organized and ready to work. They were able to sort and box a considerable amount of donated food enabling us to serve those in need in our community.

For more about the LOPC visit them on the web. http://www.lopc.org/

Welcome Galila and Leslie!

The Fairfield office would like to welcome two new office volunteers: Galila Kitzes from Vacaville, and Leslie Williams of Fairfield. Galila, a busy mom, began volunteering in the warehouse last fall, and is now helping with office projects on Fridays. Leslie started volunteering in early February on Tuesdays and Thursdays when she is not in school.

They assist our Lead Volunteer, Julie Ruttenberg, with CalFresh projects.  Until recently, Julie was able to meet the demands of the CalFresh team by herself, but the program has been expanding so it became necessary to recruit additional help. The women assemble CalFresh applications, put stickers on materials, and bundle brochures. These materials are then used by the Food Bank staff members who conduct CalFresh outreach.  We are very happy Galila and Leslie have joined the growing team of regular volunteers at the Food Bank’s Solano location.

United Way Week of Caring

The Food Bank is again proud to be participating in United Way Week of Caring coordinated by the Volunteer Center of the East Bay. This is the 20th Week of Caring and this year 94 nonprofits are participating and receiving volunteer help from 2,700 corporate volunteers to complete 264 projects.

At the Food Bank we were grateful to have Chevron, Eisai Inc., Matson Navigation and Wells Fargo Volunteers help with 7 projects over four days. Chevron volunteers worked at our Rodeo Food Assistance Program site helping to provide groceries for about 300 families totaling over 900 people. Wells Fargo and Matson teams came together to sort and box thousands of pounds of food at our Concord warehouse on Tuesday.

On Wednesday two Wells Fargo teams arrived and worked together and on Thursday a team from Chevron who have helped  for 3 years tackled  bins of fresh plums all afternoon. On Friday Eisai Inc. sorted and boxed food drive in our Fairfield warehouse all morning. It has been an amazing week.

We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to show volunteers what the Food Bank does in our community and to have the help of all of these amazing volunteers.

Chevron Volunteers

Wells Fargo Volunteers

 

The Day After 9/11 and Beyond

Ten years ago our lives changed. Some things like travel changed for the worse. We certainly look at our own safety differently. We care more about others and more people seem to show they care these days. Volunteers help the Food Bank on a daily basis and we could not operate without the help they give. Our volunteer program has grown over the years and with the need up significantly over 50,000 hours of time were donated last year. It is hard to believe it has been 10 years since September 11th. I remember people calling for days and weeks after to volunteer saying they “needed to do something good…. something to help others”. It was their way of dealing with the tragedy. Many found it to be a new way of giving and a better way to live.

While September 11th was a National Day of Remembrance let’s make September 12th and beyond about what people did and will continue to do. Just like those who responded and helped after 9/11 today people give back and help their neighbors in need. September is Hunger Action Month. Please look at the 30 Ways in 30 Days calendar for ways you can help.

Every Action Makes a Difference

Hello volunteers past, present and future! As the Food Bank Manager of Volunteer Services my job is to recruit volunteers. When my children were young my volunteering was mainly at school and with the teams the kids played on. Having a full time job made it difficult for me to find the time to help organizations like the Food Bank back then. Hunger Action Month is an opportunity for busy families and work groups to make a difference around their schedules.

You might be able to get your employer, school, social/service club, church group, etc. involved in Hunger Action Month and help spread the word.  There are some wonderful ways to help. Please take a look at the 30 Ways in 30 Days calendar. This can be a great opportunity to have all ages involved.  Can you write  a poem or story about hunger and share it with friends, school, or family? Please send it to us so we can include it in our blog!

If you are looking for something to do this weekend consider Walnut Creek Family Fest. Don’t forget to bring a can of food and get a $1.00 off admission. Winterhawk Winery is also having an event on Sunday the 4th. Details of these and other upcoming events are on our events page.  Everything you do can make a difference to those in need of help in our community. Hunger Action Month  is a great opportunity to teach your children, family and friends ways they can make their community a better place. I hope that everyone reading this finds something that interests them and share it with others. You can really make a difference and the joy that will bring you is not measurable.

Families Strengthening Communities

Join us for Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, August 20 at 2339 Courage Drive, Suite F in our Fairfield facility and Sunday, August 21 at 4010 Nelson Avenue in our Concord facility. It is a great opportunity to see how the Food Bank works while having fun and contributing to your community!

Family Volunteer Day showcases the benefits of families working together, introduces young children who cannot normally volunteer for community service, and encourages those who haven’t yet made a commitment to volunteer as a family. There will be two shifts available to volunteer by reservation only. If your family has not participated in Family Volunteer Day before be sure to reserve for the 11:30am – 1:30pm shift. If your family has participated before and would like to help out again be sure to reserve for the 2:00pm – 4:00pm shift.

To participate, children must be ages 5 and older and must be accompanied by an adult; provide one chaperone per child for children ages 5 – 10 and at least one chaperone for every 2 to 3 children ages 11 and up.

Please email VolunteerHelpDesk@foodbankccs.org or call (925) 676-7543 for Concord or (707) 421-9778 for Fairfield to reserve your spot. We will do our best to accommodate you, but unfortunately there is limited space available so we register families on a first come, first served basis.

We’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 (www.foodbankccs.org/events) taking place which offer a variety of ways to get involved and help support the Food Bank.

Wells Fargo Volunteers

On April 7th a group of Wells Fargo volunteers from various areas across the country were in Pleasant Hill for a team meeting. They wanted to help the community and spend some time “team building” and scheduled some time to help at our Concord warehouse sorting room. Coordinated by Wells Fargo’s Lynn Camorongan from their Pleasant Hill Wealth Management Department Wells Volunteers arrived at the food bank ready to work. These enthusiastic team member-volunteers represented Wells Fargo well in this community by giving back to non-profits that address vital community needs and issues.

Wells Fargo Volunteers

Wells Fargo Volunteers

Bingo Volunteers Needed

The Food Bank is trying a new fund raising opportunity with Blue Devils Bingo which is just down the street from us at 4065 Nelson Avenue in Concord. Every Monday morning we need to provide volunteers who work for several hours helping the bingo hall staff. The volunteers help set up the bingo, welcome guests, and sell the bingo cards. The Food Bank receives a donation for collaborating in this effort. One of our volunteers said it is her Monday morning exercise because she spends the whole time moving around the room “working the crowd”.

If you are interested in learning more about this bingo volunteer opportunity, please let us know.

Bingo Volunteers

Jason Katz and Food Bank Volunteers Going Bingo

Take a look at our latest quarterly Volunteer E-news and 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 (www.foodbankccs.org/events) taking place which offer a variety of ways to get involved and help support the Food Bank.