Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Economy Forces New Way of Eating

Researchers have found that our current economy has breathed new life into an old tradition, as increasing numbers of Americans are opting to cook at home rather than dine out. According to a study conducted by market research firm Mintel International, about 60% of those surveyed said they're cooking more often in an effort to save money. Marcia Mogelonsky, a senior researcher at Mintel, noted that, "In the old economy, people didn't think twice about spending a little more [money] for convenience." However, nowadays, consumers are cutting their food costs by clipping more coupons, doing store to store comparison shopping, buying in bulk and preparing meals at home. The good news is, there are many benefits to cooking at home above and beyond saving money. Cooking can be a great way to control meal portions, improve nutrition and spend fun, quality time with friends and loved ones. But what does this mean for those of us who aren't exactly Emeril or Julia Child? If you fall into the category of "culinary-challenged," then look no further because help is here!
In addition to providing weekly healthy recipes on our Myspace page, the Food Bank of Yolo County will soon begin offering cooking classes to the general public in our newly remodeled kitchen conducted by our own in-house chef Arturo Vargas! Join us and learn how to prepare new nutritious and delicious recipes, or how to add some life and spice to some of your old favorites. Stay tuned to our website for more information and updates!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Stamp Out Hunger!

Article courtesy of Foodlinks America

In what is billed as the largest one-day food drive in the nation, donations of non-perishable foods will be collected by more than 230,000 letter carriers as they make their rounds on Saturday, May 8, 2010. The food will then be delivered to food banks and other emergency food providers. "Millions and millions of families are suffering--struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table," said Frederic Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. "Food banks, pantries, and shelters need our help more than ever this year. As families count on them for support, they're counting on us and we will not back off on our commitment," he emphasized. Rolando noted that donations are particularly important now, as school food programs are suspended for the summer months and millions of children must find alternate sources of food. Total food collected in the postal union's "Stamp Out Hunger" event this year is expected to top last year's record of 7 million pounds collected. Donations from this year's drive are expected to push the overall "Stamp Out Hunger" total above one billion pounds since the annual drive began 18 years ago. The total currently is 982.7 million pounds.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Volunteers Are Truly Golden

They say that "40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new 40." If that's true, then what does that mean for "60 and beyond?" In decades past, the retirement and "golden years" represented a period in life when our most active days were behind us. Yet nowadays, increasing numbers of seniors and retirees are devoting countless hours to volunteer activities that leverage the skills they developed in the workforce, and provide both social and personal enrichment to their lives. Here at the Food Bank, many retirees and seniors assist us with everything from challenging administrative work in the front office, to the rigors of processing deliveries and sorting donations in the warehouse. Our warehouse staff depends on the enthusiasm and tireless efforts of volunteers like Jim Kennedy and Dave Pratt; and recent retiree Bob Tousignant has become an invaluable asset to our Moveable Market program. As we bring this year's National Volunteer Week to a close, we'd like to extend a warm, "golden" thank you to the members of our community who have chosen to volunteer with us as their post-career, career! You are appreciated!

"We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give."
- Winston Churchill

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Do Good & Have Fun By Volunteering With A Group!

"Seek to do good and you will find that happiness will run after you." James Freeman Clarke

In 1970, several Davis residents formed a volunteer backyard gleaning group to help feed hungry people in their community. Forty years later, their efforts have evolved into the Food Bank of Yolo County - an orgnaization that oversees the solicitation, storage and distribution of food from an established network and feeds more than 20,000 people per month. Today, groups of volunteers continue to play a major role in the Food Bank's mission to alleviate hunger. Groups like the members of Holy Rosary Church in Woodland who assist with our mass mailing, and corporate groups from Target and PG&E have made volunteering with the Food Bank part of their annual community service activities. Student groups like the UC Davis Leaders in Service Program have developed signature fundraising events for us, and countless student and social volunteer groups host food drives to benefit the Food Bank. Volunteering as part of a group is a fun and rewarding teambuilding exercise that fosters better interpersonal relations, while contributing to the overall improvement of the community. Thanks to all of the groups who've committed their time and energy to the Food Bank!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21 - Administrative Professionals Day!

Did you know that today is Administrative Professionals Day? National Professional Secretaries Week and National Secretary's Day was created in 1952 through the work of Harry F. Klemfuss of Young & Rubicam after Klemfuss recognized the importance and value the position had on his company and business. In light of this special day, and as part of our weeklong celebration of National Volunteer Week, we'd like to say a special "thank-you" to all of the Office Volunteers who provide vital administrative assistance to keep the Food Bank running smoothly. Theirs are the friendly voices you hear when you give us a call, and the friendly faces you see when you drop by to visit. Some are brand new, and some, like faithful volunteer Cleo Opera, have been donating their time and talents to us for years. On this awesome day, during this volunteer recognition week, and always, we SALUTE YOU!

Monday, April 19, 2010

National Volunteer Week

Hunger is a silent epidemic, affecting nearly one in six Americans. Though we cannot tell who is hungry from the clothes people wear, the jobs they work, or the color of their skin, 49 million people in this country do not have access to enough food for an active and healthy life. Last year, the Food Bank of Yolo County, a member of Feeding America, distributed more than 2 million pounds of food to 70 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other emergency food organizations. We would not be able to continue this critical work without the help of volunteers. As Food Bank Executive Director Jose Martinez notes, "Without the effort and time commitment we get from volunteers, our job would be more difficult and more expensive. Volunteers are a cherished and much appreciated part of the team in serving our community."

Please join us in celebrating volunteers throughout this week by sharing your thoughts and favorite volunteer stories in our comments section below!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Veggies for Kids

Did you know that less than 20% of schoolchildren meet the federal dietary guidelines for their daily requirement of vegetables? It's an age-old question that moms have been posing for years: how can we encourage kids to eat more veggies? To start, each Friday, the Food Bank will feature a healthy delicious recipe featuring our Veggie of the Month on our myspace page. But fixing this problem will take a serious team effort, so we want to hear from you! Chime in and let us know some of your best meal-time tricks for cleaning the veggies off your kids' plates!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Broccoli: Eat It, It's Good For You!

Did you know that broccoli is one of the most nutrient-rich vegetables on the planet? Vitamin C, Vitamin A (mostly as beta-carotene), and calcium are just a few of minerals that make up the foundation of broccoli's health benefits. Of course we know that Vitamin C helps promote healthy weight and supports the immune system, but, did you know that research shows that both Vitamin C and beta-carotene are important anti-oxidants that have been linked to reduced rates of cataracts, heart disease and several types of cancers? Stay tuned throughout this month for delicious recipes and more fun facts about Broccoli--our April Veggie of the Month!

Friday, April 2, 2010

NuCal Food Donates Over 700 Dozen Eggs!

The Easter Bunny came early to the Food Bank as NuCal Foods, Inc. donated 720 dozen eggs to us this week. For all you math whizzes, that's 8,640 eggs! NuCal Foods, Inc. is a family owned cooperative based in Ripon, CA and is one of the largest distributors of shell eggs in the Western United States. In addition to being a great source of protein, eggs are an incredibly versatile food. Our in-house chef Arturo regularly incorporates our Veggies of the Month (this month it's broccoli) into his specialty, nutritious egg and omelette dishes!