Tag ‘ event ’

Celebrate Everyday Heroes Orinda Golf Tournament

Guest post by Orinda Community Foundation: Join us again this year for the second annual, Orinda Celebrate Everyday Heroes Golf Tournament for repeat of fabulous experience enjoyed by all last year. Last Week until Tournament! Take a shot at winning $1 million…purchase a raffle ticket and sign up for golf.

Celebrate Everyday Heroes Golf Tournament sponsored by Orinda Community Foundation (a 501c3 nonprofit charity) benefiting Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, as well as, community events and youth programs will take place Monday, July 25, 2011. Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

We look forward to you joining us at this memorable event. Pass along to golfing friends and potential sponsors. For more details and to register, visit Sign up foursome with golf friends today!

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 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 ( taking place which offer a variety of ways to get involved and help support the Food Bank.

Swing and Dance with us on June 26th!

Take a musical trip back in time to the 40’s and 50’s as the fabulous Swingin’ Blue Stars of the USS Hornet join us again at our “Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden” annual fundraising event.  Audiences of all ages get a thrill from their fun performances that mix saucy and romantic WWII tunes. You don’t want to miss it! Register today at Learn more about the Swingin’ Blue Stars

Fashionistas to Help Feed Families

Guest post by Barbara Glass – Publicity Coordinator, GFWC Clayton Valley Woman’s Club: On April 2nd, the GFWC Clayton Valley Woman’s Club (CVWC) hosted their Sixth Annual Festival of Tables and Fashion Show. The event benefiting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano was a huge success. Over 184 women attended the sold-out event coordinated by chairperson Merle Whitburn and her committee. They enjoyed lunch catered by Rick’s on Second of Antioch and were waited on by husbands, sons and friends of club members outfitted handsomely in black slacks, white shirts and black bow ties.

Club members individually decorated 23 tables for the “festival of tables” that included different festive and whimsical themes such as Spring has Sprung, It’s a Froggy, Froggy World, A Day at the Beach, and Hearts and Flowers.

Coldwater Creek of Walnut Creek presented the fashion show. Models were CVWC members and Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano staff/volunteers. There was a mix of casual and dressy fashions from the popular Broadway Plaza store that were perfect for Bay Area living and traveling.

Attendees purchased tickets for wonderful silent auction and raffle prizes. There were over 34 baskets filled with goodies donated by club members and local businesses and assembled by club members plus many silent auction items donated from local organizations. Proceeds from the event totaled over $6,000 and benefited the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano which distributes food through various nonprofit programs that serve low income communities.

Models at Clayton Valley Woman's Club Benefit Fashion Show

Pictured Here (Left to right):  Alice Jordan – CVWC charter member, Donna Sullivan – daughter of CVWC member, Carmen Williams – CVWC member, Joyce Attkinson – CVWC member, Marilyn Fitzgerald – former CVWC member, Susan Stillings – Food Bank volunteer, Linda Waxman – Food Bank ambassador, Judy Bradford – Food Bank board member, and Veronica Wimer – Food Bank staff member.

Res Ipsa Jokuitor – Kickoff for Food from the Bar

Guest post by Kerstin Firmin, Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Communications Coordinator: Res Ipsa Jokuitor, the Comedy Night kickoff event for Food from the Bar, was a rib-splitting success.

The mood in the Back Forty BBQ banquet room was festive as more than 130 guests mingled, ready to be entertained by comedians Rocky LaPorte and Andrew Norelli. Food from the Bar Planning Committee Chair Ed Shaffer of Archer Norris and Lisa Reep, Executive Director of the Contra Costa County Bar Association, along with other committee members were on hand to greet guests and sponsors, including Archer Norris, Gilardi & Co., Nevin, Ramos & Steele, and U.S. Legal Support.

A delicious dinner of BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken and all the appropriate fixings, provided by Back Forty BBQ, quieted the crowd long enough for MC Justice James Marchiano to kick off the program.

Larry Sly, Executive Director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, thanked those in attendance for their efforts over the past 16 years to provide much needed food and funds to Contra Costa and Solano residents. Sly shared statistics on hunger that surprised many of those assembled, noting that nearly 1/3 of all children in Contra Costa and Solano experience hunger on a daily basis.

Sly was followed by comedian Andrew Norelli. Norelli, a Danville resident and Northern California native soon had the crowd laughing at their own expense. Norelli drew heavily on his local knowledge and family life to keep the crowd smiling. Showing no fear of the legal system, he quickly made Justice Marchiano the target of many lighthearted barbs.

Following Norelli on stage was Rocky LaPorte. LaPorte whose credits include the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Comedy Central Specials, hit the crowd hard with his Chicago style humor. Like Norelli, La Porte seemed especially taken by Justice Marchiano, seeking reassurance frequently – “Isn’t that right, Judge?”

The event marked the beginning of the two-week long competitive food drive which has raised more than $800,000 and 54 tons of food for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano since its inception 16 years ago. Eager to hit this year’s goal of $100,000 and 10,000 pounds of food, the food drive began at the door: Comedy Night attendees were asked to bring canned goods for the chance to win great door prices. Almost 180 pounds of beef stew were collected that night – a great start!

Food From the Bar Comedy NightFood From the Bar Comedy Night

To see more photos, visit the Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Facebook album:

Walking to take a stand against hunger

Saturday, April 9th was a beautiful day in Vallejo for a walk to raise money locally and worldwide along the picturesque Mare Island Way Shoreline. Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) Hunger Walks help fight hunger and poverty around the world including the United States and Haiti. Neighbors from different faiths, cultures, and ages walked together to take a stand against hunger in our world.

Together we raised awareness and funds for international relief and development as well as local hunger-fighting agencies such as the Food Banks! Hungry people in developing countries typically walk as much as six miles a day to get food, water and fuel to take their goods to market. We walked to be in solidarity with their struggle for existence.

A perfect ending to this event was the concert on Sunday night, April 10th. A full house enjoyed all types of music and singing from Frances Fanilli (Harpist), Resonance with Elisabeth and James, Debbie, Ken and Brenda from First Church of the Nazarene and Singing by John Grose.

Enjoy a Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden!

Take an express trip to the tropics on Sunday, June 26th at the Food Bank’s 11th annual Admiral’s Garden fundraising event! Mark your calendar and don’t miss this fabulous event of the summer.

This year local master sugar artists/ cake decorators and pastry chefs have declared a Cupcake War in the Dessert Tasting Tents! Watch Jan Loomis, Tracy Wirta, Mitchell Hughes and Marla Erojo decorate cupcakes and compete. Celebrity judges will decide who will win the Cupcake War!

Mingle and chat with Survivor TV stars Yau-Man Chan, Sylvia Kwan, Chad Crittenden, Sonja Christopher, Cecilia Mansilla and other local media celebrities.

You’ll feel the sand between your toes as you enjoy the authentic Caribbean music of Shabang Steel Drum Band. And, back by popular demand are the Singing Blue Stars of the USS Hornet taking the party back to the swinging sounds of the 40’ and 50’s. Add to the musical line-up DJ’s Denon & Doyle.

The fun starts at 12 noon with the opening of the Wine and Appetizer Tasting Tents and live music by Shabang. At 1:30 a delicious gourmet lunch, prepared by Englund’s Catering, is served in the garden. Dessert Tasting Tents open at 2:30. Learn more about some of our Tasting Tents participants. Tour the mansions, St. Peter’s Chapel and the Naval Museum. Bid on Silent Auction prizes and play fundraising games. Have fun and help the Food Bank r

estock warehouse shelves for the summer. Be sure to wear your favorite tropical outfit!

The low event price of $75 per person or two for $140 includes all food, drink, entertainment and tours. Bring extra cash, check or credit card if you wish to participate in the auction or games.

For more information including online reservations, visit

Happy Birthday Mother Earth!

Every day at the Food Bank is Earth Day as we recycle aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles, paper bags, plastic bags, shrink wrap and cardboard. But what we do best is help to reduce food waste. Here are some examples:

1. We work with several grocery stores and large food companies that give us their product as it approaches an expiration date. It can be bread, fresh produce, meat or nonperishable items. Why throw it away when they can give the food to us and we can get it out to people in need. The product is still good but the store wants to move their product along so we help them reduce their own food waste.

2. We welcome fresh produce from people’s yards as that helps us have more fresh produce for those in need. In the last month we have received thousands of pounds of grapefruit, oranges and lemons not to mention some home grown lettuce and other greens.

3. We pay a reduced price for our purchased produce so that we can buy more and make our money go further. Our fresh produce is not as pretty as you would find in a store but we say it tastes just as good if not better! Because of the reduced price, we often find oranges that are split open or apples that are very badly bruised. We no longer have to throw the bad produce into our garbage as we have choices of what to do with it:

  • The Oakland Zoo purchases fresh produce for their animals. We contacted them over three years ago and found out they would be very pleased to have our discards. We say we give them the “best of the bad” as they need produce that is not moldy or not been broken open. The bison love our badly bruised apples and the elephants are happy to eat our overly soft oranges.
  • Loma Vista Farm in Vallejo (an educational farm definitely worth visiting) not only uses apples for Oreo and Keebler, the cows, they will compost any produce the farm animals won’t eat (oranges are not that popular with the animals).
  • A local pig farmer says his pigs love our bad apples (and they don’t mind if they are moldy, broken open or badly bruised). We even provide him grain through our “Piggy Potluck” project. Sometimes we receive food drive products that are far past expiration and we can’t give that to those in need. So we take the dry products such as pasta, rice, dry beans, jello, cake mixes, and moldy bread and open the packages and mix all of the dry products together. The pig farmer will add water to this dry product which will then serve as grain for the pigs. We recycle all of the plastic and cardboard packaging so we not only are feeding pigs, we are reducing our garbage.

One of our friends in all that we do is Jennifer from Allied Waste in Pacheco. Jennifer says “We should be recycling for the earth’s sake”. And at the end of the day it is the right thing to do and makes us all feel good. Just like reading our Food Bank news online, you too are making a change to reduce our footprint on earth.

Rita at Loma Vista Farm

Oreo and Keebler

Chris at Oakland Zoo

Weekly Recipes

Are you taking the Pound For Pound Challenge? Tell us about it in the comments below. Here are this week’s recipes to help you through the challenge (or just to try for fun).

Since mushrooms are in season I found this recipe.

Stir-Fried Broccoli and Mushrooms with Tofu

Then of course we can’t skip the dessert!

Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

We would also like to thank everyone who participated on Sunday at Heather Farms Park in our very first Pound For Pound walk. It was a perfect combination of warm sunshine and crisp cool air that made our hour together for the 3.8 mile walk fly by. For those who were unable to make it, we hope to see you next Sunday 3/6, more details to come, stay tuned. Don’t forget to wear YELLOW & BLUE (great job Mario and Patti!).

Patti, Carl, Emily, Mario, Jim, Leo, Savanna and Nicole (taking the picture)

Please email me at if you are interested in future walks.

Walk to Give & Get Healthy

Join us weekly as we “Walk to Give & Get Healthy”. The walks will take place every Sunday from 2pm to 3:30pm. Each walk will start off with a 15 minute warm up, followed by an hour walk then a 15 minute cool down. Our first walk will take place at Heather Farms Park Sunday 2/27 at 2pm.

Please email Veronica Wimer  at if you can make it and I will give you detailed directions of where we will meet up. Feel free to extend the invite out to friends/pets/family and encourage them to pledge (non-monetary) to lose or maintain a healthy weight at

Don’t forget your water!