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Summer Fun at Food Bank Events

Uncorked

Over one hundred Food Bank supporters and wine lovers joined us for the inaugural Food Bank Uncorked at the beautiful Green Valley Cellars in Fairfield on August 3. Our guests spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and scenery while tasting the amazing pairings of GV Cellars wine with appetizers and desserts made by MagPies Catering, grooving to the sound of the live music from Westbound 80 and learning about Food Bank programs from some of our staff. Thanks to our generous guests and sponsors like Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery we were able to bring in over $27,000, the equivalent of over 50,000 meals, to your neighbors in need.

Golden Gate Fields

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and Alameda County Community Food Bank joined forces with Golden Gate Fields for the second time on Sunday August 17th. We had stations and barrels located at both the Grandstand and Clubhouse entrances and were giving out free admission passes to anyone who made a donation. Thanks to the generosity of Golden Gate Fields for inviting us to host our Race to Fill Barrels we were able to collect 220 pounds of food and more than $2,300 for the food banks while raising awareness to the issue of hunger in our communities.

Serafino Bianchi and the Bianchi Real Estate Team: Feeding Families and Saving the Planet one bag at a time.

Guest Post by the Bianchi Real Estate Team: Did you know that nearly 400 billion pounds of plastic bags are used and thrown away every year? Less than 2% of that gets recycled, and the rest ends up swirling around in our oceans, damaging the eco-system and marine life. Alameda County has taken action by banning plastic shopping bags, and many individual stores have begun to charge for bags as well, to encourage their patrons to bring their own and recycle.10463910_10152373751304272_4815320970385287736_n

In light of all this, Serafino Bianchi of the Bianchi Real Estate Team had an idea. What if he provided eco-friendly grocery totes for his clients? He could provide a nice service, help save the planet, and remind his clients to think of him the next time they wanted to buy or sell their home – all at the same time.

He ordered the bags, and started putting them into the hands of his clients. They were a huge hit! Both fashionable and functional, these beautiful reusable bags are making a scene at the local grocery markets in Pleasanton, Alamo, and Danville.20140715_152630

Serafino grew up in Italy and developed a taste for healthy, wholesome food at a young age. As a young boy, loved to pick blueberries, mushrooms, and chestnuts from the wild countryside. He loves to tell stories about how the chestnuts were dried and prepared in a huge two-story stove in his tiny hometown, and how his mother would make chestnut soup and bread from the dried nuts

Since Serafino’s bags are being used to carry food, he thought about how he could help those in need who didn’t have access to a healthy meal, and decided to team up with theFood Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County. The Food Bank has been serving the community for over 35 years, and serves approximately 149,000 hungry people in need every month.

Serafino and the Bianchi team will donate to the Food Bank every time someone buys or sells a home in 2014. This feeds a family of four for an entire month with the sale or purchase of just one home.

Food Bank Welcomes Assemblywoman Yamada Hunger Awareness Event – Learn If You Are Eligible to Receive Healthy Food Benefits

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano – the county’s trailblazer in hunger relief – is excited to welcome Assemblymember Mariko Yamada to Community Produce Program in Dixon on Wednesday, July 16.  Assemblymember Yamada will be volunteering at the site, helping to ensure that each person in need receives fresh fruits and vegetables to take home.

“California is on the mend, but far too many people are still struggling to make ends meet,” said Assemblymember Mariko Yamada, Chair of the Assembly Aging and Long Term Care Committee.  “Through no fault of their own, working families, students and seniors face skyrocketing food prices because of the drought and the price tag for staying cool in scorching temperatures.

“I wish to thank the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano for providing critical food programs that support the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Food insecurity is a daily reality for millions of Californians.  Children, the elderly, the disabled, and students are the faces of hunger amidst plenty.  The drought and summer bring added challenges to ensuring that our community’s nutritional needs are met.

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano works to end hunger and increase access to nutritious food for low-income individuals and families. The Community Produce Program is just one of the ways that the Food Bank distributes food directly to people in need. Refrigerated trucks have been customized for the exclusive purpose of distributing fresh produce to communities in need. Clients will be able to pick-up an average of 20 pounds of produce, twice per month.

In addition to the strong leadership Assemblymember Yamada provides in the legislature, we are grateful for the hands-on help she is bringing to the people we serve,” said Larry Sly, Executive Director of the Food Bank.

Help the Hunger Awareness efforts and learn how to apply for food assistance by Clicking Here. Join the Yamada Volunteer Crew and post your hard work on social media with the #HashTags: #YamadaVolunteer #Yamada4HungerAction #[YourCounty]Volunteer on your social media accounts.

It’s a Tight-Knit Community at biStitchual!

stitchThe Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s barrel has arrived at biStitchual, a yarn and notions store located at 2406 San Pablo Avenue in Pinole. The shop is hosting a year-round food drive collecting nonperishable food for those in need within our community. The most wanted food items are peanut butter, cereal, tuna, canned meats, juice, pastas, canned beans, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned soups, etc. Come by the store, donate a few items and see the latest yarn we have and consider picking up those knitting needles or crochet hooks again.

Grocery Outlet Independence from Hunger

002 (2)UPDATE: As of 7/10, the Concord Grocery Outlet collected 4,644 pounds and they has 6 full barrels!

The Grocery Outlet store at 1840 Willow Pass Road in Concord has collected 1,693 pounds of food in three days for the kickoff of their Independence From Hunger Food Drive! They have prepacked bags for a variety of prices between $3 and $10 so everyone can afford one or more bags to donate. Let’s all help the Concord Grocery Outlet Store beat their total last year of 5,400 pounds of food donated in July. Buy a prepacked bag of food and place it in the barrel during the month of July. Every bag will provide meals for those in need in our community.

May Events that Made a Difference

Food From the Bar Comedy Night

In May the Contra Costa County Bar Association held its 23rd annual Food From The Bar fundraiser for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.  It started with the 19th annual Comedy Night kick-off, where 175 attorneys and guests enjoyed BBQ and belly laughs at Back Forty Texas BBQ in Pleasant Hill.  More than 20 generous sponsors donated to support the event.  That was followed by a two-week fundraising blitz by 35 large and small law offices in the county, whose 700+ employees helped raise more than $58,000.  Over the years the Bar Association has collected more than $1,100,000 and 110,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank.  The attorneys say they already are planning next year’s fundraiser and comedy show, as they work toward their second Million in donations!

A special thank you to our sponsors, we could not have done this without your support!

Wells Fargo, Archer Norris, Brown Church & Gee LLP, Newmeyer & Dillion LLP, The Recorder, Steele George Schofield & Ramos LLP, Timken Johnson LLP, Back Forty Texas BBQ, Contra Costa County Bar Association, Gil Berkeley, Law Offices of Suzanne Boucher, Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP, Certified Reporting Services, Esquire, Frankel Goldware Ferber LLP, Gagen McCoy McMahon Koss Markowitz & Raines, Miller Star Regalia, Quivx, Ringler Associates, Scott Valley Bank, Vasquez Benisek & Lindgren LLP

Drive Fore Break on Hunger Golf Classic– recap

On May 12th the Food Bank hosted our 2nd annual Drive Fore Break on Hunger Golf Classic where 120 golfers gathered at the beautiful course of Oakhurst Country Club to give their support. Because of all our amazing sponsors there was fun at every hole whether it was a giveaway or snack and drink station. After the tournament golfers enjoyed an award BBQ with raffle and contest winners announced. This tournament well exceeded our expectations. Thanks to everyone’s support we raised over $42,000 and hope to top that again next year.

Event Recaps, Fun = Food!

Souper Bowl of Caring

During the week of Super Bowl Sunday schools and churches nationwide participated in the “Souper Bowl of Caring” by collecting money and/or food for their local charities. This year eight churches chose the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano as their charity beneficiary all together raising $6,371.28 and 290# of food! Thank you to all who participated in tackling hunger in our community this year.

Concord High Dinner Dance

Concord High Band Boosters with help from Concord High’s Instrumental Music Program let the good times roll at their Mardi Gras Dinner Dance on February 22nd to benefit our Food Bank as well as the high school’s five music programs. Everyone enjoyed the festive decorations and food but nothing could compete with the amazing music being played by the 135 very talented students in the Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band and Orchestra who believe that music is food for the soul.

 Empty Bowls

A big Thank You to the more than 300 people who attended our Empty Bowls events in Concord and Fairfield to share a table with new friends, sample  tasty soups out of beautifully handcrafted bowls, and learn more about the local faces of hunger.  We were able to raise over $19,000 and are extremely grateful to be on the receiving end of so much support from our community!

 

Congratulations Solano County Employees!

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We think it is never too late to give thanks and congratulations for an amazing deed! Congratulations to Solano County employees for winning the 10th annual Counties Care Holiday Food Fight! Contra Costa and Solano county employees raised a grand total of $133,528.96 during the 2013 holiday season. On a per capita basis, Solano County employees raised $10.64 per employee while Contra Costa County employees staged a valiant fight coming in at $10.14 per employee. Solano County won bragging rights and possession of the coveted Big Apple trophy for another year. Thank you county employees for faithfully fighting to end hunger in our counties.

Are You Starving?

Guest Post By Jenay RossMillions of people are at risk of hunger. 1 in 6 people suffer from it. Unemployment and poverty are to blame for food insecurity. And this issue doesn’t exist solely during the holidays when most people decide to donate and volunteer. It’s a year-round issue. All year, people need to find help so they can help themselves and the families they provide for.

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During my first day home for spring break in March, I attended my local food bank’s Empty Bowls, an annual informative fundraiser event. Attendees chose from a large selection of handcrafted bowls and were then served soup, which was super tasty. Here’s one of the bowls I chose for myself:

I’m very familiar with the work this food bank does. I volunteered often during middle school and high school. I dug through donated non-perishables and produce to decide what was suitable to be eaten by the food bank’s clients. I once organized a school and community-wide food drive. A few summers ago, I even interned in its PR department and was allowed the opportunity to interview  volunteers, agencies and hungry clients to craft stories from each perspective.

I try to remind myself how important it is to volunteer and to attend events such as Empty Bowls. It not only reminds me of how fortunate I am to eat whenever I please, but also how fortunate I am to be able to help others.

Please visit Feeding America to learn more about hunger in this country and how you can donate, volunteer and/or receive help.

 

Walnut Creek skaters give Olympic-sized turnout

During the holiday season, Contra Costa Oncology partnered with Walnut Creek on Ice to promote awareness for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano.   From November to January, for every skating ticket that was collected at the ice rink, Contra Costa Oncology would match with a donation to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano.  The campaign “You Skate. We Donate.”  provided the opportunity for the local community to feel involved with the fundraising efforts, while enjoying a fun time at the rink. Tens of thousands of skaters showed their support and Contra Costa Oncology delivered a check for $5,145.

pic 1 pic 2 pic 3 pic 4The Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce and SpecialIce were a huge help in making the Contra Costa Oncology fundraising effort a huge success!