When many of us think about the holidays, we envision feasts, family and fun times! However, for the 270,000 of our neighbors grappling with hunger, the oncoming holidays deliver a much different mood. Fortunately, there are simple ways each of us—including kids—can lift up members of our community who are struggling. In addition to monetary giving, here are five other ways you can help out during the holidays:
1) Collect and Countdown with Holiday Calendars!
Get the whole family involved with our special holiday-themed donation calendars featuring a reverse advent Christmas downloadable calendar or our 8-Days of Giving Hanukkah downloadable calendar.
These kid-friendly countdowns are the perfect opportunity to teach the younger generation about the issue of hunger in our community. Simply collect the shelf-stable food indicated each day, add it to a donation box and drop the food off at the Food Bank once completed!
2) Start a Virtual Food Drive
In lieu of exchanging presents this year, ask friends and family to contribute to a Virtual Food Drive. Launch your own fundraiser with just a few clicks at foodbankccs.org/virtualfooddrive. Thanks to our bulk buying power, your funds go further—every $1 donated provides enough food for 2 meals for families in need.
3) Shop for the Cause (at Amazon, Grocery Stores, Crate & Barrel)
You can give back by gobbling down when you shop at Safeway, Sprouts, or Whole Foods this holiday season! Whole Foods and Safeway will be accepting donations at the register while Sprouts will have $10 bags of pre-packed groceries for purchase at checkout, which will be donated directly to the Food Bank.
Combine your holiday shopping and hunger fighting with the click of a button when you shop online through AmazonSmile. Simply log in through smile.amazon.com and select the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano from the list of charitable partners. The Amazon Foundation will donate 0.5% of your purchase price on eligible products to the Food Bank.
If shopping at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, you can swing by Crate & Barrel and donate to the Food Bank at checkout.
4) Trot Together
Some traditions never go out of style. Forma Gym’s Annual Turkey Trot is back for its 28th year, and in true 2020 fashion—it’s gone VIRTUAL! Register online and choose from several events including a 5k and 10k Run/Walk, Kids Fun Run, and 26.2 Run/Ride. Participants will receive goodies like an official race shirt, bib and sticker to rock during the run. Get your friends involved and make it a team affair! Proceeds from registration fees benefit the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.
Especially during the hectic holiday season, the Food Bank relies on extra help from incredible volunteers to meet the need in our community. Choose from a variety of shifts and donate your time by helping us sort, package or distribute food at one of our warehouses or distribution sites. Visit foodbankccs.org/volunteer for information about upcoming opportunities.
What makes this time of year so special is the spirit of interconnectedness we experience amongst our families, dear friends and neighbors. We can preserve the spirit of magic and giving when we come together to lift up those in need!