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Just 10 Days to Maximize Your 2012 Charitable Contributions!

Remember that all your contributions and donations to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano are tax deductible.  Take advantage of this before the end of the year and you will be able to claim your deduction in your next tax filing.  Your support during the holidays allows us to provide food year-round.

Please send your contributions to: Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, either by mail (PO Box 6324, Concord, CA 94524) or use the orange Donate button on our home page.  Thank you and Happy Holidays from the staff, Board and thousands of clients of the Food Bank!

For the added convenience of our donors, we will be open to accept donations on 12/31 from 8 am -4 pm. Join us for holiday treats at both of our warehouses.

 

Food Banks Seek Community Support to Help Raise $100,000 during ABC7’s Share Your Holiday Food Drive

With unemployment remaining at 9 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area, the demand for food assistance continues to increase.  Bay Area Food Banks, a collaboration of eight local food banks serving 11 northern California counties, are serving the needs of more than 600,000 Bay Area residents each month.  To continue to meet the needs at this scale, they look to the community for support.   You can help!  ABC7 ‘s Share Your Holiday Food Drive, benefitting Bay Area Food Banks, launches bright and early on Thursday, December 15 with the goal of raising $100,000 during the daylong event.

“We know that many Bay Area families have been affected by the downturn of the economy, and we want to do our part to help support the local Food Banks.  We are hopeful our generous ABC7 viewers will come together and support their local food bank and help feed hungry families this holiday season,” said William Burton, ABC7 President and General Manager.

On December 15 , starting at 5:30 a.m., ABC7 will be asking viewers to make a donation to their local food bank using one of these 7 Ways To Give:

  1. Donate to your local food bank online at www.abc7news.com
  2. Text FEED to 80077 to donate $10
  3. Mail your check made payable to “Food Bank to ABC7 Food Drive, 900 Front Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
  4. Call in your donation in to  800-515-1719  – Volunteers will be on hand to take your donation
  5. Find your local food bank on Facebook and “like” their page to stay updated on how you can get involved
  6. Drop off a donation of non-perishable food items to the live food drive location at Alameda County Community Food Bank or at your local food bank
  7. Schedule time to volunteer at your local food bank. Volunteers are needed throughout the year!

“We are truly grateful to ABC7 for the time, hard work and energy they have given to support the Bay Area Food Banks,” said Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. “The financial support food banks receive from the community is a critical part of our work. You can make a difference by giving to the ABC7 Share Your Holiday Food Drive and working together to help our neighbors in need. ”

Tune into ABC7 on December 15 for inspiring stories from people who have supported Bay Area Food Banks and from people who are in need of assistance now.  By using the ABC7 – 7 Ways To Give, you can help provide food assistance that will go to families facing hunger this holiday season and throughout the year.

*Mobile Donation Fine Print: $10.00 donation to Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano also benefiting other Bay Area food banks. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 80077 to STOP. Text HELP to 80077 for HELP.  Full Terms: mGive.org/T. Privacy Policy.

 

Boy Scouts Go Door-to-Door to Collect Food for Food Banks

One of the nation’s largest single-day food drives takes place this Saturday, Nov. 19, when Boy Scouts will go door-to-door collecting non-perishable food for local food banks.

In the Bay Area, more than 40,000 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers, Explorers and their supporters will be “Scouting For Food” by picking up boxed or bagged non-perishable food placed on doorsteps by 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.

Residences on the Scouts’ collection routes have received a door-hanger promoting the drive on Nov. 12. Residents who did not receive a door-hanger are not on a collection route, but they can still contribute by dropping off donations on November 19 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at either Food Bank warehouse or at any of the locations listed at www.bayareahunger.org.

“Through the Scouting for Food food drive, Bay Area Boy Scouts are helping food banks feed our neighbors in need,” said Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank. “By reaching out to their neighbors, Boy Scouts continue to make a difference in their community. ”

Last year the drive brought in more than 143,000 pounds of food in Contra Costa and Solano counties. In the Bay Area, the Scouts’ goal is to collect 500,000 pounds of food this year.

“We can take substantial steps toward ending hunger by working together,” said Tim Buchen of the San Francisco Bay Area Council of Boy Scouts of America. “But even with 40,000 Scouts on collection routes, we can’t hit every doorstep. So it’s critical that people help us out by dropping off food at their local site.”

Whole Foods Market, Safeway, Lucky, FoodMaxx, Mi Pueblo Food Center and Berkeley Bowl locations throughout the Bay Area have in-store barrels to accept donations for Bay Area food banks throughout the holiday season.

NBC Bay Area Teams Up With Safeway to Stock Bay Area Food Bank Shelves One-Day Food Drive

NBC Bay Area, in partnership with Safeway, is hosting a one-day food drive on Saturday, November 19, to benefit hungry people throughout the Bay Area. More than 600,000 Bay Area residents require the assistance of their local Bay Area food bank every month. The food drive takes place at 165 Safeway locations throughout the Bay Area, so it is easy for community members to participate and help feed their neighbors in need.

NBC Bay Area and the Bay Area food banks will mobilize for one day of food collections at Safeway stores to collect thousands of pounds of much-needed food.

“In addition to providing on-air promotion, we are organizing hundreds of volunteers throughout the Bay Area to encourage shoppers to donate,” said Lance Lew, NBC Bay Area Community Marketing Director. “It is easy to pick up a pre-packed $10 grocery bag that is filled with the foods local families need most. Our goal is to increase awareness about local hunger while also giving community members a convenient way to help out at a critical time.”

Displays at all Safeway stores will be filled with $10 bags that shoppers can purchase and donate to their local food bank. These bags include items such as rice, stuffing, canned vegetables and cranberry sauce. Once collected, the bags will be delivered to food banks before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“I really appreciate all that NBC Bay Area and Safeway have done to give people the ability to help their neighbors in need,” said Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank. “ The Bay Area is a caring community and food banks are helping hundreds of thousands of people every month.  Thanks to NBC Bay Area and Safeway, we are making a difference.”

Additionally, Food Banks across the nation have the chance to earn a financial donation from Kraft Foods. The food banks with the most donated bags per 100 shopper transactions will receive a donation, which can be used to purchase additional food.

If you cannot participate on November 19, bags will be available for purchase from November 15 through the end of December.

More than Just Books

Libraries are a very important part of our community! They help us educate our children and ourselves. Several of our libraries also help collect food for those in need by hosting a barrel from the Food Bank.

We welcome our newest member of our ongoing food drives: The Hercules Library at 109 Civic Drive in Hercules. They now have a barrel just ready for food donations and they are committed to filling it throughout the year. The Pittsburg Library is going to host a barrel over the holidays so if things go well, they may keep it year round too. The library that has had a barrel the longest is the Richmond Public Library (325 Civic Center Plaza) which has had a barrel since 2008 and has collected over 2,000 pounds of much needed food. For Solano County, there are barrels in the Fairfield Cordelia Library, the Fairfield Civic Center Library and the Suisun City Library.

The next time you visit one of these libraries don’t forget to bring a few nonperishable items for those in need in your community. While you are at the library you can take our Hunger Action Month action to educate by reading a book about hunger to a young child. We recommend The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need, Sam and the Lucky Money and the DVD The Pursuit of Happyness. You can even reserve your books online and have them sent to a library with one of our Food Bank barrels.

A big thank you to our wonderful libraries across our 2 counties!

For more on Hunger Action Month visit the official page.

Donor Spotlight – Paul Curtis

Paul Curtis of Curtis Designs, located in Vacaville, has been a supporter of the Food Bank for many years. His support has taken many forms – financial, inkind and volunteer. Paul is one of our biggest advocates in Solano County. He has coordinated holiday food drives with the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce and the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce and helped get the word out about the Food Bank’s new Fairfield facility last year, which resulted in a great turnout for our ribbon cutting. He has also generously provided the signage every year for our annual fundraiser, “An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden” as well as for other Food Bank events.

In Paul’s words, “It ‘IS’ all about the people. I really believe in being involved in “community” and in giving as much as possible back to our community.”

Paul has won many awards for his designs as well as his philanthropic efforts, including taking home the coveted Golden Bear trophy for “Best of Show Counties Exhibit” at the California State Fair in Sacramento an unprecedented six times for his work on the Solano County exhibit. He has been named “Business of the Year” by the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce and received the “Business in the Arts” award presented by the Solano County Arts Council in recognition of his dedication to promoting the local arts as well as receiving the “Spirit of Solano” award.

Curtis Designs has been serving the community almost as long as the Food Bank. For 32 years Paul has supported Solano nonprofit organizations. Some days he may don a tuxedo for a holiday event and food drive while other days you will find him working in his coveralls. No matter what he’s up to you can count on the fact that Paul is helping others, and enjoying himself while he does. The Food Bank is fortunate to count Paul as one of its friends and supporters.

Feds Feed Families

During the summer, food banks around the country are facing severe shortages of non-perishable items and children are left without school nutrition programs. But, the federal employees nationwide  have stepped up to meet this challenge by gathering donations of food for families. Each year more federal departments in our two counties are joining the Feds Feed Families campaign. This year we are very fortunate to have the following departments:

Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Travis AFB
Social Security Administration in Antioch, Richmond and Walnut Creek
US Forest Service at Mare Island in Vallejo
USDA Service Center in Dixon

Each of these departments has stepped up their food gathering efforts from their employees to ensure that those in need in our community will have food. As fast as they call us to pick up the food, we are sorting/boxing the food to get it out to the respective communities.  Together they have collected over 12,000 pounds of food from their employees.

Of special note is the USDA Service Center in Dixon that procured 10,000 pounds of canario beans from a local grower. Of course when the USDA office called to ask if we would like these beans, the answer was YES. But then I had never heard of the bean and the staff at the USDA office said everyone in Dixon knows about the beans and once you try these you will never eat anything else. So why not give our clients a treat! Here is what I found out on the internet:

 A small, oval, ivory to pale yellow dried bean common in Latin American cooking and a basic part of northern Mexico’s cuisine. Peruanos have a light, buttery flavor and a soft, creamy texture. They’re also called azufrado beans, canaria beans, canario beans, maicoba beans, mayo coba beans, mayocoba beans, Mexican yellow beans Peruvian beans.

Thank you to all federal employees across the country! Together we are all working to end hunger.

Backyard Bounty

Pears, Pears, Pears and YES more Pears! When the rain fell in early June, we all worried about the pears in the Alhambra Valley in Martinez and in Moraga. Many people in these two communities have an abundance of pears and love to have volunteers such as the National Charity League pick the pears for us. While the pears may be smaller this year, it seems to be a bountiful year. Thank goodness someone created the pole with the wire cage on the end to help pick the pears. It always seems the best fruit is just out of reach at the top of the tree. My favorite way to eat a pear is sliced in a salad – the pear adds just a little something different to it.

So in the last 5 days, volunteers have picked over 15,000 pounds of pears. That provides a lot of fresh fruit as snacks! I know there are over 230 men, women, teens and children with sore muscles who helped picked all of these beautiful pears. Hours volunteered totaled over 600 hours. WOW! I am exhausted thinking about this all. I think I will have my lunch – hope there is not a pear in my bag…

Independence From Hunger at the Concord Grocery Outlet Store!

What can 99 cents buy today? Not a candy bar or bottle of soda (of course they may taste good at the moment but they are definitely not nutritious) and definitely not a gallon of gas. At the Concord Grocery Outlet, I found that I could donate 99 cents and buy a can of peaches, a can of sloppy joe sauce or a bag of dry beans and place it in the Food Bank barrel.

99 cents at the Grocery Outlet store is the beginning to a nutritious and filling meal for someone in need. In less than 3 weeks, the Concord Grocery Outlet store has collected almost 2,000 pounds of food for those we help. Not only will my four 99 cent purchases (how could I buy just one) help someone have a meal, I found some wonderful fresh strawberries for me for $1.99. I figured my good deed deserved a treat.  I hope you will visit your local Grocery Outlet and donate some food to help someone in need – the drive goes through July 31st. In honor of our nation’s birthday, we can all help our community have Independence from Hunger.

 

Supporting the Food Bank Pays Off!

Meet the lucky winners of the 2011 Roger Weiss Memorial “Beat the Recession” Drawing held at the Food Bank’s Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraising event on June 26th. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who purchased drawing tickets! The drawing raised over $15,000 for the Food Bank. Special thanks to our major drawing donors: California Pacific Federal Credit Union, Target, Walmart, Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, Aliene Adamson and Meyer Corporation.

Grand prize $2,500 cash  -  Darlene Bruno
$1,000 Target gift card  -  Karen & Jeff Vesely
$1,000 Walmart gift card  -  T. Lam
$750 American Express gift card  -  Lola Blomquist
500 $1 gold coins  -  Michael Bartlett
$300 American Express  gift card  -  William Hinson
Paula Deen Cookware  -  Don Nathlich
Baking Basket  -  Celinda Bustos
Ravenswood Wine  -  Ron Grant
$50 Visa gift card  -  Dan Rubio
$50 Safeway gift card  -  Robert Blain
Jump Sky High tickets  -  Elizabeth Karplus
Concord Chevrolet oil change  -  Rosalie Rowsey
$25 Safeway gift card  -  Letitia Robbins
$25 Safeway gift card  -  G. R. Smith

Those of you who completed our online survey by July 17 were entered into a drawing to win a $25 Safeway gift card and the winner is… (drum roll)… Brenda Mooney of Vallejo. Congratulations Brenda!

Again, thank you to everyone who helped make the 11th anniversary of An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden such a huge success! With your support, we were able to raise over $100,000 to help fight hunger in our community!