Tag ‘ Thanksgiving ’

Thankful For Help At Thanksgiving And Throughout The Holidays

Originally posted on The Vacaville Reporter: One in eight residents now relies on the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and during the holidays we work with our more than 180 partner agencies to bring additional hope and relief to our neighbors struggling with hunger.  This Thanksgiving and Holiday season we will provide food for over 14,000 meals and about 30,000 grocery baskets to your neighbors in need. Thanks to amazing community support through monetary donations and food drives, we can make the holidays more hopeful for children, families and seniors who struggle to put food on their tables.

We have a tradition going back longer than I can remember coordinating food drives with Safeway.  Obviously, there is no better place to do a food drive than a grocery store.  Years ago, Safeway let us place barrels in stores and we did all we could to urge people to donate.  Other corporate sponsors helped us purchase colorful wraps to go around the barrels.  We put the types of food we most wanted on the barrel wraps and on flyers.  Volunteer groups passed the flyers out to shoppers as they went into the stores.  Those efforts produced thousands of pounds of food donated by a generous community.

For the last five years, NBC Bay Area has partnered with Safeway to help stock the shelves of local food banks. In addition to providing on air promotion, the station enlists hundreds of volunteers – including NBC Bay Area anchors and reporters helping at their own neighborhood Safeway Stores –to encourage shoppers to donate food items. NBC Bay Area is once again teaming up with Safeway Stores for a one-day food drive on Saturday, November 22, kicking off a month-long effort to fight hunger with Bay Area Food Banks, a collaboration of seven food banks serving over 780,000 local residents each month. The “Help Us End Hunger” food drive will take place at 155 Safeway locations throughout the Bay Area making it easy for community members to participate and help feed their neighbors in need.

To make the donation process easier, a specially produced shopping bag filled with items that food banks need the most will be available for $10 at all local Safeway stores. Items include pasta and sauce, canned vegetables and important protein items like peanut butter and canned tuna. Once collected, the bags will be delivered to food banks for distribution to needy families. The bags will be available for Safeway shoppers to purchase now through December 25.

The holiday season is the time everyone can help their neighbors in need.  NBC Bay Area, Safeway, Kiwanis clubs, scout troops, other community organizations and the entire community helps make a difference, each in their individual way.

We thank NBC Bay Area and Safeway for bringing attention to the severity of local hunger and for creating a simple way for anyone in our community to help a family in need. The Food Bank and our partners are feeding people in every neighborhood and you can donate to make a difference in the lives of people in your community.


Will Workout for Turkey

Guest post by Laura Collins, Special Events Assistant: For the first time in many years, I did not host Thanksgiving. I didn’t have to prepare dishes days beforehand. I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to pull the turkey from the cooler full of brine, or get the deep fryer ready, or pesto rub my free range bird, or do whatever the turkey de jour was for that year. So when I got up that morning, well, I just felt so aimless, I ended up burrowing into my sofa watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade just to feel like it was a holiday. LAME.

I made a promise to myself that I would never do that again, that I would do something to make my Thanksgiving morning meaningful, I mean that’s what it’s all about, right? The 65 people that turned out for Fit 2 the Core’s Turkey Day Workout made it meaningful this year. Talk about burn baby burn! These motivated folks spent their Thanksgiving morning torching calories, boosting their metabolism and put themselves through one hard core workout so that when they sat down to their feast, they earned it! (I just remembered, I did get up a couple of times to get more coffee – that had to burn at least, what, 24 calories??)

Tim and the Crew at Fit to the Core, provided this opportunity to do something healthy for participants, and they also provided the opportunity to make it doubly meaningful by helping others in the community. Anyone could participate that morning, with the gift of a minimum of a $10.00 gift certificate from a local grocery store which would donated to the Food Bank to help put holiday meals and nutritious food on the table of a family in need.

Thanks Tim, Donnie, Megan, Kelley and all who joined in that morning, way to do some serious damage control to hunger! And thanks for inspiring this couch potato, next year I’ll be up and about putting the giving back in Thanksgiving!

If you need motivation over the next year, don’t forget to check out what’s happening at the Food Bank, we always have ways to get involved, if you are already a hunger fighter, share your stories!

Thanksgiving Day Family Tradition Unites Friends, Families, and Communities

20th Annual Forma Gym Walnut Creek Turkey Trot Unites Friends, Families, & Communities for Education and Health

 This year’s Thanksgiving Day in Walnut Creek will offer a bit more than turkey and football.  For the 20th consecutive year, Forma Gym (formerly Walnut Creek Sports & Fitness Club) will be giving back to its local community with its annual Thanksgiving Day Charity Turkey Trot Fun Run/Walk. The 20th Annual Forma Gym Walnut Creek Turkey Trot 5K/10K/Kids’ Runs takes place in beautiful downtown Walnut Creek in an effort to promote a city-wide celebration of fitness, exercise and living a healthy lifestyle, with registration fees and donations going directly to the local public schools, the Contra Costa & Solano Food Bank and the Wellness City Challenge. This is a great event for the entire family and a fun, generous way to kick off your Thanksgiving Day (November 22nd).

The event, produced by Forma Gym, is supported by the WC Chamber of Commerce and will benefit the Walnut Creek Education Foundation (WCEF) and P.E.A.K. Education Foundation for the 3rd consecutive year.  The foundations, who together help support nearly 10,000 K-12 public school students in Walnut Creek, have received $85,000 from the last 2 Turkey Trots combined. “We are proud to be working with our community members and business partners to give back to our schools that desperately need funding to offset repeated/on-going  state budget cuts during this economic downturn”, states Bob Boos, Race Director for the event. “Physical Education programs in schools have been hit especially hard and with our ever-growing epidemic of childhood obesity, it is critical that we step in and help any way we can to promote physical activity and support the community we live and work in.”  In addition this year, Forma Gym has added the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano and the Wellness City Challenge as beneficiaries.  All beneficiaries are 501 (c) 3 non-profit organizations that benefit the local community.

This event originally started as a fun way to encourage members and their families “to move their feet before they eat” on Thanksgiving morning, but has evolved from that concept into a tremendously successful charity event, which has raised money for multiple charities over the years including the Special Olympics and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Last year, the event attracted 4600 participants from 32 states, which produced a donation to the schools in the amount of $60,000.  This year’s event could potentially attract as many as 6000 participants.  “Now, we’re working to spread the word to the community and media in hopes that people and other small businesses like ours will support a healthy tradition and a great cause” says Forma Gym Owner President/CEO Robert Jackson. “We have a passion for healthy lifestyles and public service and are proud to partner with our beneficiaries to get people involved with the Turkey Trot, what better reason than to help our community and future generations receive much needed funds, better education and healthy lifestyle and nutrition habits.”

Downtown Walnut Creek not only offers runners and walkers a beautiful venue, it offers a centralized location and is adjacent to plenty of downtown parking and businesses. The first race kicks off at 8:00 am, followed by a Costume Contest and Kids’ Fun Runs scheduled for 10:00am. Pre-registration is available via mail, in-person at Forma Gym at 1908 Olympic Blvd. or online at or Participants may also register on the morning of the event. All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt, goody bag stuffers and enjoy refreshments, music, kids’ activities and a morning to remember!