Originally posted on the Vacaville Reporter: When I was a child (a long time ago), the newspaper had a little box listing the number of days until Christmas. Maybe it was an advertisement paid for by retailers, but it certainly made me count down to the ultimate holiday. As an adult, it is amazing how fast the holidays sneak up on us. With that said, we are officially more than halfway to the 2015 holiday season.
Different wintertime holidays provide opportunities for introspection and celebration to honor important cultural events. The holidays are a time when people are most likely to take action in making a difference in their community. Generous people provide the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano with food donations, financial donations and volunteer hours.
If you looked at a graph of the Food Bank’s support month by month in all three areas, you’d see the enormous peaks in November and December.
The challenge for the Food Bank is that the people we serve are hungry every day. We assist food-insecure people all year long. We stretch the food we receive during the holidays as far as we are able.
However, we end up purchasing more food during the summer to offset the decline in food donations and food drives. The National Association of Letter Carriers helps us out by conducting a large-scale food drive in the spring.
We need this enthusiasm for hosting food drives year round from both big organizations and individuals wanting to make a difference.
Whether you want to host a food drive or drop nonperishable food off at an existing one, visit us at www.foodbankccs.org/fooddrive for more information.
There often is a spike in financial donations during the holidays from both corporations and individuals.
People want their neighbors to all have a good holiday meal. To help people receive proper nourishment all year long, we make it easy to donate on a monthly basis. To find out more about becoming a pledge donor, visit www.foodbankccs.org/donate.
Even though we expand our volunteer opportunities during the holidays, we often have to limit the number of groups we can safely accommodate because of the increased interest in volunteering. During the summer, we have more perishable fresh produce available to us than anytime of the year, so we need volunteers to help sort it in a timely manner.
In fact, an opportunity is coming up on Saturday, July 18, for families with young children, ages 5 and older, to volunteer. Our Fairfield warehouse is hosting its monthly Family Food Sort. Details and registration information are available at www.foodbanksccs.org/familyfoodsort.
The holiday season is a time for us to come together as families and as a unified community.
I often wish that the holiday spirit, especially the desire to help others, were with us throughout the year. The need to feed people in our community does not go away after the holidays. Why wait until November to take action? When people show the holiday spirit all year long, the gift they give is a strong and healthy community.