Monday, November 29, 2010

Do you know the face of hunger?

Photo courtesy of Feeding
Last week, the USDA reported that more than 50 million Americans (including 17 million children) come from food insecure homes. To shed light on the reality of the new faces of hunger, Feeding America has partnered with the Ad Council to launch a series of PSAs featuring celebrities including Matt Damon and Taye Diggs. The purpose of these advertisements is to create awareness about hunger and inspire Americans to take action.

The message in each PSA is that the face of hunger can look like anyone: our neighbors, teachers, co-workers, etc. Each ad features a true story portrayed by a celebrity, and the goal is to break stereotypes about those who go hungry in America. Produced pro bono by Cutwater, the PSAs will begin to appear on television in early 2011 and were created as part of the national Hunger Prevention campaign.

To view the PSAs, please click here to be directed to our YouTube page.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Running of the Turkeys 2010

We are thrilled at this year’s turn out for the 2nd Annual Running of the Turkeys. Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and spent the morning with us. There were 230 registrants, 43 turkeys donated, and more than $14,000 was raised.

A huge thank you to our event organizers: Janine Rogers, Emily Rogers Riley, and the Volunteer Committee for making this a successful day.

We would also like to thank our wonderful sponsors. Thank you for your support!

$1,000 or more
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
BZ-Bee Pollination, Inc.
Joe Muller & Sons
Payne Farms
UD Davis Dining Services
Woodland Healthcare
Yolo County YMCA
Yolo Federal Credit Union

$500 or more
AgSeeds Unlimited
Duane Chamberlain Farms
Gayle Manufacturing
J.H. Meek & Sons
Jose & Julia Martinez
Tom & Shelley Muller
Turold International
Wallace Farms

$250 or more
Slice of Pie
Arthritis Foundation
Carter Hay & Straw
Darrell & Heidi Aoki
Hunter Ad Specialties
Jamba Juice
Mezger Grain
TS&L Seed

Monday, November 22, 2010

California's Lost Dollars

According to a new study released last week, less than half of eligible Californians participate in CalFresh*, including 23,352 in Yolo County. Despite the fact that CalFresh utilization has increased during the recession, the state is missing out on nearly $5 billion ($30,424,909 lost in Yolo County) due to lack of participation.

The USDA ranked California the lowest in federal nutrition assistance participation. According to George Manalo-LeClair, Senior Director of Legislation at CFPA, Californians in need are missing out on funding because of institutional barriers. California still requires more paperwork than any other state and more trips to CalFresh offices.

Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes has introduced legislation to encourage California to embrace more simplified requirements like the 49 other states. An easier method of participation in the CalFresh program could also benefit the state’s economy, as every $1 in CalFresh benefits generates $1.79 in local economic activity.

Click here for more information and to read the full report.

In light of these statistics, the Food Bank of Yolo County has recently initiated a Food Stamp Outreach program to educate our neighbors in need about potential eligibility, the steps to enroll, and to dispel myths about the program.

*CalFresh, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, will begin to be adopted throughout California. At this time, Yolo County continues to refer to it as the Food Stamp Program while the transition is being made.

For any questions regarding CalFresh, please contact our Food Stamp Outreach Coordinator:

Maria Maldonado
(530) 668-0960

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clean Your Plate

As Thanksgiving approaches and our pantries become overloaded, it can be easy to over-buy and overeat. The next time you over-order at your favorite restaurant or over-spend at the grocery store, consider this: 40% of the food produced in America is thrown away.

Photo Source

What Others Are Doing

Campus Kitchens Project
There are currently 25 schools participating in this student-run project where they deliver food what would have otherwise been wasted to those in need. Students gather food from cafeterias and assemble them into meals. They not only gain skills in meal preparation, cooking, nutrition, fundraising, and management, but also serve their communities in this outstanding way.

For more information, please visit:

On-site Food Waste Recycling
The GaiaRecycle G-30H system was recently introduced by GaiaRecycle, LLC of Palo Alto, California, in order to address the food waste problems that primarily occurs at primary schools and small restaurants. With the push of a button, the G30H recycles mixed food scraps and organic waste including small bones (chicken, fish, etc.), fruits, vegetables, starches, egg shells, and all liquids PLUS milk or juice cartons, napkins, and plastic utensils. All of this is done without causing jamming and it minimizes downtime and lowers overall maintenance/operation costs. During the 8 hour processing cycle, it eliminates odors and cuts down volume by 90%, making the compost sterile and easy to handle.

For more information, please visit:

What You Can Do

• Freeze leftovers within 2 hours after being cooked in order to maintain quality.
• Avoid over-stuffing refrigerator/freezer and rotate items that expire sooner to the front
• If buying in bulk, purchase foods with long shelf lives (canned foods, rice, beans, etc.)
• Implement a rule in your household that eliminates leaving scraps behind, like a few potato chips at the bottom of the bag or a small amount of milk in the carton.
• Resist impulse buying at the grocery store and only buy what’s on your list.
• Plan meals ahead of time to avoid deviating from a shopping list.
• Store your food properly. Make sure food storage containers are closed and refrigerate/freeze if necessary.
• Control your portions by preparing only what you need. If there are leftovers, take them for lunch the following day.
• Learn a new recipe! There are many great resources online for preparing meals for a specific number of people, meals with leftovers, and meals that use those pesky vegetables that you aren’t sure how to prepare.
• Turn food waste into compost.