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Sonoma County Food Drives Team Neighbors and Businesses

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Sonoma County Food Drives Team Neighbors and Businesses

More than 400 local businesses and individuals pitching in! 

The holiday season is under way, and winter has finally arrived. Everywhere you turn you will find little hints of merriment – including orange barrels from the Redwood Empire Food Bank’s Winter Food & Funds Drive. More than 400 local businesses and individuals are teaming up this year to raise money and collect food to feed the hungry in Sonoma County.

“It’s a tremendous sense of giving” says Dalton Wiley, Food Drive & Events Coordinator for the REFB “every month 82,000 people turn to us for food and we are truly appreciative of how the community is rallying to help”.

The REFB and community of food drives have collected the food equivalent of over 100,000 meals since October 15. A great feat, but only half of this year’s goal, which means that there is still a long way to go to ensure that everyone in need continues to receive food assistance. Donations during the winter months help to provide nutritious food to people well into the new year. One meal is provided with every pound of food donated and two meals are provided with every dollar donated. If you would like to give – please visit the REFB online at www.refb.org and click on ‘Donate Now’ or sign up to host a food drive. It is never too late to give.

Richard Bruns a realtor for Century 21 Classic Properties hosted his own neighborhood food drive in Rohnert Park and collected almost a thousand pounds of food. “I chose to donate to the Redwood Empire Food Bank because as a child the REFB helped teach me the value of giving back. When I was a boy scout we would run holiday food drives and donate everything to the REFB. I remember seeing the facility and learning about the strength in numbers and about how our donations can help others. Hunger relief is important because in this day and age there is no reason why people should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.”

The REFB is proud to have the support of all food drive hosts who make it possible for the thousands of individuals to donate. Almost 43% of the total monies raised by the REFB are based solely on individual donations. These individual acts of kindness are the backbone of hunger relief work.

Scott Parker, Head of School for The Presentation School in Sonoma believes that fostering philanthropy is as important as education itself. When asked why the school hosts an annual food drive and fundraising event, Mr. Parker shared, “It is so basic: there is a "Need."  Nutrition is not a want - we all deserve to have the essentials - food, education, shelter. It is doubly important to share this mindset with young people because they have so much capacity to care and understand those basic needs - probably better than anyone.” In addition to all of the food collected, the proceeds from the school’s annual holiday party will be donated to the REFB.

It seems that several businesses around town feel the exact same way. Robin McKenzie, Senior Vice President at Redwood Credit Union shared “We're honored to partner with the Redwood Empire Food Bank to help our community members in need. The Redwood Credit Union sponsors, volunteers and conducts food drives in our branches. When basic needs are met, people have more opportunities to achieve better lives, which leads to a stronger, healthier community for everyone."

As we embark on the season of giving, we are reminded that the spirit of generosity lives on right here in our own community. Join others in our community in making a difference today. For more information on how to host a neighborhood food and funds drive please call Dalton Wiley at (707) 523-790o x 114 or email dwiley@refb.org.

 

About Redwood Empire Food Bank

The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Since 1987, the REFB has fed hungry people, currently serving 82,000 children, families and seniors each month in Sonoma County, while striving to end hunger in our community. The REFB collaborates with local and regional partners to obtain and distribute 14+ million pounds of food annually, the equivalent of 33,000 meals every day. It is also the primary resource for hunger relief agencies in Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties. Visit www.refb.org or call 707-523-7900 to learn more.