Tag ‘ physical activity ’

Health and Wellness at the Food Bank

If the key to successfully helping others is to take care of yourself then the Food Bank staff has a bit of work cut out for them.

When we are not busy making sure that the food we order from our distributors is low in sodium, fat and sugar, the Nutrition and Wellness committees have stepped up their efforts to make some positive health changes for the staff.

The first task at hand for the Nutrition committee was to improve the nutrition content of the snack items found in our vending machines. The goal of attaining a 50/50 mix of healthier snack options versus non healthy was an easy  task to accomplish with our current vending machine operator who was more than happy to supply us with an array of healthier alternatives that meet the Fit Pick criteria. Fit Pick™ nutritional criteria are based on the recommendations of the: American Heart Association, 2005 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Thanks to the nutrition committee, we now have super yummy snacks that are baked instead of fried, lower in sugar, fat and salt.

Fit Pick™ products are lower in fat and sugar with criteria for adults of 35-10-35 which means no more than:

35% of total calories from fat

10% of calories from saturated fat

35% of total product weight from sugar

Generally speaking, our health is a mirror of our daily habits and with that in mind the Wellness committee will encourage sedentary staff to move just a little bit more every day. Whether it’s standing up at their desks , taking  15 minute walks in the morning and afternoon,  taking the stairs faster or two at a time there is always something more that can be done to burn a few extra calories that don’t require a gym membership or special equipment.

To help us with our healthy ambitions please keep us in mind if you know someone who would like to donate an unused or under-used Elliptical machine that Food Bank staff will use during breaks. Maybe it’s currently serving as a clothes rack instead of its intended purpose as exercise equipment.

So if anyone out there has or knows of someone who has an Elliptical that they would like to donate to the food bank staff to help encourage a healthier lifestyle or “Healthstyle” please feel free to contact Veronica Wimer at or 925-677-7012.

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

East Bay Law Firms’ 5K Walk-A-Thon Fundraiser Benefits Food from the Bar

Food from the Bar is one of the most successful fundraisers for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.  This year, local law firms are banding together for the first time to participate in a joint 5K Walk-A-Thon to benefit the Food Bank.  On Friday, May 7, over 80 participants will don their walking shoes to trek 3.1 miles around downtown Walnut Creek to fight hunger through the Food from the Bar campaign. 

Since 1992, the Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA) has sponsored an annual food and fundraising competition where local law firms, solo practitioners and county legal offices vie to raise the most per capita money for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, in an event dubbed “Food from the Bar” (FFTB).  Since FFTB began, attorneys and staff have raised $740,000 and over 52 tons of food for the Food Bank.

As the organizer of the event, Archer Norris PLC is proud to walk with fellow firms: McNamara, Dodge, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Pfalzer, Borges & Brothers LLP; Miller Starr Regalia PLC; The Law Offices of Gagen, McCoy, McMahon, Koss, Markowitz & Raines, APC; Timken Johnson Hwang LLP; Van De Poel, Levy & Allen, LLP, along with other individuals in the community.

Each $50 registration fee for the Walk-A-Thon directly assists the Food Bank, and participants also receive sponsor donations from family, friends and colleagues.  The top three participants who raise the most additional money for the Food Bank win a gift certificate to Sports Basement, a Walk-A-Thon sponsor.

“For the past 18 years, law firms have challenged one another to find new and exciting ways to raise money for FFTB, which ultimately provides food for thousands of Contra Costa and Solano county residents each month” explains Ed Shaffer, Archer Norris partner and FFTB committee Chair for the CCCBA.  “This year participating firms are challenging each other in a new way; by coming together in a single fundraising Walk-A-Thon, we hope to raise more money for the Food Bank than ever before.”

Youth Ag Day 2010

Over 3,000 fourth graders from all over Solano County came to the Fairgrounds in Vallejo on March 17 to learn about health, nutrition, agriculture, and the world they live in for the annual Youth Ag Day 2010.

The Food Bank ran an activity to teach kids about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables while incorporating a component of physical activity.  By looking at the rainbow of fruits and vegetables on the wall, the student s learned the importance of eating a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables every day.  They then played a game tossing around a beach ball to encourage some movement and exercise.  Each child had to name a fruit or vegetable in a different category.  For instance, “red fruits and veggies” or “fruits and veggies you would put in a salad.”

After a long and exciting day, the children (and the Food Bank staff and volunteers) left tired, healthy, and happy.

Pound for Pound Challenge Kicks off on The Biggest Loser

New Year’s is approaching! What’s your resolution? To hit the gym more often, shed those extra pounds that have been pestering you, to give back to your community or all of the above? You’ve come to the right place.

The Biggest Loser” on NBC is sponsoring the 2nd Pound for Pound Challenge. General Mills has been gracious enough to donate 14 cents per pound pledged on the Pound for Pound Website. The Challenge Kicks off on The Biggest Loser tonight at 8 p.m.

Let’s make the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano the #1 food bank in America! We are already second in California! So go ahead and think about your goal, pledge the pounds, and let your friends and family know! Remember- for us to get the credit, one must type in a Contra Costa or Solano County zip code. We have until May 2010 to meet our goals.

Together we can change our lifestyles and help those that need it most. Let’s show America that we can be THE BIGGEST LOSERS!

Sign up for the Pound for Pound Challenge.

Good luck and most importantly… HAVE FUN!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the Pound for Pound Challenge at or 925-676-7543.

Summer Lunch Celebrations

During the summer months, school is out, but the need for lunch is not. The Summer Lunch Celebrations, held by the Food Bank throughout the month of July, embodied this idea. The Food Bank partnered with UC Cooperative Extension, Contra Costa Health Services, and Vallejo and Mt. Diablo Unified School Districts to hold two events hosted by Wren Avenue Elementary in Concord and Norman King Community Center in Vallejo. Children of all ages were invited to participate in various activities, games, and giveaways related to healthy eating and physical activity. Over 200 children played a relay game, learned about healthy food and drink choices, and enjoyed a snack of peaches and plums in addition to their free lunch. For the parents, there was information about food stamps and other food assistance programs provided by the Food Bank.

Many children rely on free or reduced-price school lunches as their main or only source of nutritious, balanced food. During the summer months, some kids go without a healthy meal for this reason. To rectify this, the USDA created the Summer Food Service Program that provides free lunches to any child under the age of 18. Free lunches are offered at various community centers, schools, and parks in low-income neighborhoods. With the budget crisis and many schools closing, there are fewer locations that offer free meals. Thankfully, despite these setbacks, free lunches were served at over 100 sites throughout Contra Costa and Solano counties.
You can help improve access to nutrition programs for kids — like the Summer Food Service Program. This Fall, Congress will be making decisions about the Summer Food Service Program, School Meals, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and more in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. What can you do? Write your members of Congress and ask them to expand and improve current federal child nutrition programs. Visit for more information.

Youth Celebrate “Day Of Nutrition” In East County

On May 14th and 15th over 230 students from Pittsburg Unified School District came to the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds in Antioch for the 6th Annual Day of Nutrition and Physical Activity. A partnership between the Food Bank and the UC Cooperative Extension, Day of Nutrition is an event that focuses on teaching children the importance of healthy eating and active living in their everyday lives. Fourth graders from Marina Vista, Highlands, and Los Medanos Elementary came to learn the health benefits (and sample) different fruits and vegetables, explore the edible garden, and participate in various physical activities. With the help of various volunteers, notably the AT&T Pioneers, students rotated through eight different stations focusing on various areas of nutrition and fitness. In the “Go for the Whole Grain/Fruit Breakfast Relay,” students learned about how to read the label of their cereal to make sure it was really a healthy breakfast choice. They discovered the importance of eating a whole grain breakfast and discussed different ways they could spice up their normal cereal with different seasonal fruits. The children then participated in a relay where they picked up fruit on a spoon and ran back and forth putting the fruit into their cereal bowl. The kids definitely needed a healthy, energy packed breakfast to run fast and finish first! Thanks to everyone involved for making Day of Nutrition 2009 a great success!

Students in the Mangini Agricultural Museum classroom at learning to eat a rainbow.

Students in the garden.

Fruit and cereal relay.