Where there is a will, there is a way…

Some could argue our “new normal” for our this COVID-19 society can best be described as “indefinite uncertainty” and frankly, adjusting to this is really hard. As difficult as life is right now for almost everyone, we can’t forget there are thousands of people locally who are struggling just to have their basic needs met—like putting food on the table. We applaud the organizations and individuals who, though facing their own challenges, continue to offer hope to others—like the Bay Area refineries who organized and participated in the 2020 Refinery Run.

For the past nineteen years, Bay Area refineries have come together to raise both awareness and money for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano with their annual Refinery Run. Under normal circumstances, this event involves Bay Area refinery employees and contractors fueling their “need to feed” by driving motorcycles and custom cars in support of our mission to end hunger.

This year the Refinery Run was turned into an online Refinery Run Virtual Food Drive, which ran from August 10-31. Though things were clearly different due to the pandemic, the amount of support and dedication shown by the refineries not only matched previous years, it actually surpassed it. Knowing more people than ever are turning to the Food Bank, the participating refineries were determined to raise as much money as possible—despite a myriad of logistical challenges. 

For starters, the mixer that normally takes place in July to kick-off the Refinery Run couldn’t happen because of social distancing mandates—yet all the refineries still gave at their normal sponsorship level!

Then, to expand their reach, they opened up their Virtual Food Drive to not just refinery employees and contractors but to their friends and family as well.  

In the end, the 2020 Refinery Run raised enough money for over 66,000 meals! In its 19-year history, this event has brought in enough funds to provide over 1.3 million meals for our food-insecure neighbors. 

Thank you Phillips 66, Martinez Refining Company, Valero Benicia Refinery and Marathon Petroleum Corporation for being able to adapt and carry on this fundraising tradition when so many events are being canceled. What you’ve accomplished this year demonstrates we can find a way to lift up our community—no matter how extraordinary the times. Everyone has the power to make a difference! Visit foodbankccs.org/virtualfooddrive for more information on how you or your organization can start an online fundraiser.

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