Originally posted on the Vacaville Reporter: The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano appreciates the many relationships that we have with the community. We depend on these alliances to help us achieve our mission.
The Food Bank relies on the individuals and organizations that donate food, so we can get it to those who need it the most. We value our partnerships with local nonprofit agencies, as they provide food to people who we don’t reach through direct distribution.
Because of the rapport we have with our volunteers, more than 80,000 hours of work is donated to our cause each year. And the connections we have with our financial donors allow us to effectively distribute more than 20 million pounds of food to those in need every year.
This year marks a milestone to celebrate these relationships as we acknowledge the 40th anniversary of the Food Bank’s work. We held our first annual Nourish gala on May 16 and this year we recognized 40 years of service. The event was held at Round Hill Country Club and we were joined by nearly 200 supporters. Donors were there from our lead corporate sponsor, Chevron, along with seventeen other corporate supporters. Roberta Gonzales, from KPIX CBS 5, was our emcee and raised the spirits of everyone in the room with her infectious energy. The enthusiasm Roberta generated was a great help when our fund raising auction began.
We began the live auction with my homemade lemon bars that I am “required” to make for every staff potluck at the Food Bank. They sold for $1,100, which made for an incredible beginning! We then auctioned off naming rights for one year to the sorting area in our Fairfield and Concord warehouses, generating $11,000.
The highlight of the live auction was when we came to the final item, “Feed the Need”. The Food Bank made the request for a new trailer to use to transport food. We asked attendees to contribute to the purchase of the trailer (building on the money generously donated the previous day in Valero’s skeet shoot fundraiser). Their response was amazing, and we raised more than $40,000! People gave because they wanted to make a difference; they wanted to help the Food Bank provide more food to those in need in our community. Through the generosity of those who supported our Nourish event, we raised more than $125,000 to help fight hunger in our community.
We also took a step forward in creating the Kris Lesher-Aring Giving Circle. These major donors will honor the memory of Kris Lesher-Aring who was involved in many philanthropic efforts before she passed away. Kris attended our 25th anniversary and spoke of her belief that there should not be hunger in a community as prosperous as ours. We know that many of our donors share her belief and this is a way to acknowledge those who give significant support to our efforts.
The gala was a time to acknowledge all that we have accomplished over the last 40 years and a time to look toward the future.