Check out this story that ran on ABC7 last night.
Many Bay Area people are standing in line for the first time at food banks.
This Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Feeding America (the national food bank network) is joining with President-elect Obama in calling our hunger advocates to service to help reignite the nation’s spirit of volunteerism and community service. He is inviting all Americans to join him in a National Day of Service, “Renewing America Together,” on January 19, 2009. This new effort, Renew America Together, is not just about stepping up to serve for a single day, but rather about making a continued commitment to serving throughout the year.
The Food Bank is hosting service events on January 19, 2009 and encourages people to come up with their own ideas. Host a food drive that weekend. Kids can hold penny drives and bake sales with their friends. Ask your office to donate what they normally spend on lunch for one day and take lunch to work that day. You can go to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Observance, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM at Civic Park Community Center Assembly Hall, 1365 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. The event is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, the Mt. Diablo Peace and Justice Center, and the City of Walnut Creek. Inspiring speakers, singers, and good-will. Please bring non-perishable food items for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties to the event.
Please visit www.USAService.org to learn more about Renew America Together and events in your area including the Food Sorting event here on January 19. This new, interactive website enables Americans across the nation to find volunteer opportunities in their neighborhoods, or to create and host events of their own.
One of the best things you can do to support Renew America Together and our work to feed our neighbors is to invite your friends and family to participate too. Please help us spread the word about this historic opportunity!
The Governor’s proposed budget for 2009-10 was released on New Year’s Eve by his Department of Finance. For a summary of the Governor’s proposed $770 million in cuts to health care (many of which have already been rejected numerous times by the Legislature as too severe), see the entry for December 31st on the Health Access Weblog. For a summary of the entire budget package, including $17 billion in cuts and $14 billion in new revenues, see the California Budget Project summary.
Take Action: BUDGET RALLY IN SF, MONDAY 1/12. Budget allies are encouraged to join California Partnership, Health Access, Senior Action Network and many more in rallying in front of the Governor’s office in San Francisco on Monday, January 12th to oppose the Governor’s proposed cuts as too severe. At the rally in San Francisco, we will provide an opportunity for all participants to call the Governor via mobile phone. We will then parade to the Governor’s office to deliver armloads of white carnations bearing the names of people who will be hurt if his cuts are enacted.
Details: Rally flyer (PDF: 133K)
Between January and April 2009, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano will be participating in a nationwide survey sponsored by Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest) the national food bank network. We will be talking to hundreds of people who receive food at food pantries and soup kitchens in Solano County and Contra Costa County, asking them detailed questions about their lives and the reasons they cannot afford to buy enough food to feed their families.
The Food Bank needs the help of many volunteers to complete the required number of surveys during the specified time period. We will be conducting interviews everywhere. You do not need to be an experienced social scientist! You just need to be able to read out loud, listen sympathetically and record the answers people give to the questions. We provide two and a half hours of training for all volunteers which includes practice using the survey instrument. We will make every attempt to schedule times and places for you to interview that are convenient for you.
We last did a Hunger Survey in 2005. There have been lots of changes in our communities since then. But hunger is still here. Please help us discover the details about why people need to come to our programs. If you are interested in helping with the Hunger Survey, please let Lindsay know at 707-421-9777 or 925-676-7543 x204. Download a Volunteer Description and Sign-up Form (PDF: 30K) here.
Tune in tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 6th 8/7c and watch 22 people change their lives. This season Biggest Loser partners with Feeding America (formally named America’s Second Harvest) and General Mills with the Pound for Pound Challenge. For every pound America loses a 10ï¿½ donation is made to Feeding America. 10ï¿½ is enough to provide one pound of groceries to a local food bank.
You can help by:
Making a pledge to lose weight and for every pound you lose, General Mills will donate 10 cents to Feeding America*. Enter your weight loss goal at www.PFPChallenge.com.
*$500,000 maximum donation. $100,000 guaranteed minimum donation.
Or mail the Pound For Pound seals from specially-marked General Mills products. For every seal mailed in, General Mills will donate 10 cents** to Feeding America.
**Maximum donation of $275,000
Brands with the Pound For Pound seal include Cheeriosï¿½, Honey Nut Cheeriosï¿½, MultiGrain Cheeriosï¿½, Totalï¿½, Fiber Oneï¿½ (Cereal, Bars, Muffin Mix, Pancake Mix, and Yogurt), Green Giantï¿½ Valley Fresh Steamersï¿½, Chex Mixï¿½ 100 Calorie, Warm Delightsï¿½ Minis, Bisquickï¿½ Heart Healthï¿½, Cascadian Farmï¿½ (Cereal and Bars), and Yoplait Lightï¿½.
Visit www.PFPChallenge.com to join the Challenge to help solve the hunger crisis in America.
Bill comes to the Food Bank every day willing and able to accomplish any task. He folds, labels, stuffs and seals thank you notes. Bill’s work is invaluable as it is incredibly important that our generous donors are thanked promptly and properly. There are hundreds of acknowledgements to send out every day. Bill always tackles every task with a smile. He has counted mustard and relish packages for the Letter Carrier Food Drive. He has counted pens for the Aramark golf tournament. He runs the button machine better than anyone. He has labeled everything necessary with the change in our Post Office box. He bundles new paper bags in stacks of 50 for food drives. We would not be able to do the gated community food drives without Bill. He even fills in at the front desk as needed. We could not operate a single day without volunteers. There were 37,000 volunteer hours worked by our amazing volunteers this year. According to the Independent Sector report that equates to $722,000 in volunteer work performed by Food Bank volunteers in direct services. That does not even include all of the wonderful agency volunteers. Volunteers are truly the “seeds” that enable us to continue to grow and serve those in need.
The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has been serving the communities of Contra Costa and Solano counties for over 30 years. We provide food to 98,000 hungry people in need every month through a network of 180 charitable agencies, and distribute about 9.6 million pounds a year, enough food for 7.68 million meals! The Food Bank works to reduce food waste, feed hungry people, and raise public awareness of issues related to food and hunger. The work could not get done without the help of the hundreds of volunteers that donate their time to coordinate food drives, sort and pack the food, and help distribute it to their hungry neighbors. To learn more about the Food Bank and the work we do or to find out how you can help, please visit us on the web at www.foodbankccs.org or give us a call at 800-870-FOOD.