Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Food Stamp Challenge: Day 3

I am "midway" through my Challenge. Got home so late on Tuesday evening that I cut up the extra firm tofu and had about a third of it plain, then had three leftover turkey meatballs and water for dinner.

Had no time for breakfast Wednesday morning--grabbed 1/2 of the remaining ready-made deli sandwich, 1/2 a banana, and a yogurt and headed into the Capitol.

At noon, I was honored by a visit from Ginger Rutland of the Sacramento Bee. She had read our press release and came to visit me for "lunch". She asked me many interesting questions about the Challenge, including, why do this?

I explained that as a social worker, I believe both personally and professionally that we must remember what it is like for so many of our clients. We can intellectualize about difficult times, but many of us never really "feel" it. For me, the situation is temporary; for millions of Californians, it is a fact of life.

Our country and our state are going in the wrong direction. We are grateful for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but should be working for the day when all those who can and wish to work have a job to provide for themselves and their families.

Will try to get home early enough to make stir fry turkey, spinach, and mushrooms with leftover angel hair pasta--will make chow mein by frying the noodles.

Stay tuned for Thursday--sorry no one is reading or adding on to this blog!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Food Stamp Challenge: Day 2

Day 2 Update

With yesterday's heat, I decided not to turn the oven on to make mini meat loaves, but made a pot of turkey meatballs instead. I used some of the potato bread to make crumb filler and ended up with over two dozen meatballs. I cooked the whole pound of angel hair pasta, and had pasta and meatballs for dinner with lots of leftovers.

Tuesday, I had half of a banana and water mid-morning snack, the other half of the turkey salad sandwich and yogurt for lunch. No headaches from caffeine withdrawal, thankfully, and I will be heading into Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and Veterans Committee for the rest of the afternoon. Have a couple of evening committments before heading home to consider what to eat for dinner.

The Sacramento Bee has expressed interest in our challenge and will be meeting with one of their editorial board members tomorrow for "lunch".

More tomorrow. Thanks, Mariko

Monday, June 28, 2010

Food Stamp Challenge: Day 1

Today was Day 1 of my 2010 Food Stamp Challenge.

I shopped last Saturday at the south Davis Safeway, and spent $19.24 on the following:

2 pkgs. ground turkey, $4.99 (buy one, get one)
2 bananas, $.77
2 roma tomatoes, $.80
1 pkg. whole mushrooms, $.99
1 pkg. fresh spinach, $.99
1 pkg. extra firm tofu, $1.25
2 ready-made deli sandwiches, $3.98
1 loaf potato bread, $1.49
1 pkg. angel hair pasta, $.99
6 yogurts, overstock price, 3 @ $1.00 = $2.00
1 pkg. ground coffee, 1.5 oz., $.99

My meal plan includes:

Skipping breakfast as I normally do.

Lunching on yogurt with banana and half deli or meat loaf sandwiches.

Using turkey for mini meat loaf; stir fry with spinach, mushrooms, and tofu; and angel hair pasta with roma tomatoes.

Savoring my 1.5 oz. coffee packet.

I reached for but had to put back an avocado, an onion, an apple, a quart of milk, a half-pint of orange juice because I could not afford these items.

Water will be my beverage of necessity for the week.

Today, I had one carton of yogurt for breakfast, and half a turkey salad sandwich for lunch.

Heading home from my Capitol Office, Room 5144, to make stir fry and cook mini meat loaf for later in the week.

Thank you for engaging in the Food Stamp Challenge with me!

Mariko Yamada, Assemblymember, 8th A.D.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Could You Live on a Food Stamp Budget?

The Food Bank of Yolo County is pleased to once again partner with Assemblymember Mariko Yamada as she takes on the Food Stamp Challenge. Assemblymember Yamada participated with a larger group in April of 2009 when Food Bank staff, Board, community members, and elected officials took the Challenge. Now as the California State Legislature enters a difficult budget season, the Assemblymember has chosen to take the Challenge once again to highlight the needs of low-income families and to advocate against cutting important social safety net programs. For one week, starting Monday, June 28, the Assemblywoman will live on $4 per day – the national average for a person on food stamps. Check back daily to read her comments below about her experience. Also, please let us know if you are inspired to take the Challenge yourself!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Free Plants!!

Have You Started Your Garden, Yet?

The Food Bank of Yolo County has received a donation of 200 flats of tomato, pepper, and squash seedlings and we need to distribute them quickly.  Please stop by if you're interested in picking some up beginning:

Monday, June 21
from 10AM- until they're GONE!

There will be no charge for the plants, but donations will be accepted.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

School's Out & Student Volunteers Are In!

Throughout our history, we've been extremely fortunate and grateful for the hundreds of quality volunteers who've donated their time and talents to the Food Bank.   Warehouse volunteers have done everything from assisting our drivers with picking up and delivering food, to packing boxes and bags of food for distribution.

Moveable Market volunteers enjoy interacting with friends and neighbors as they distribute fresh produce and nutrition information to needy families.  And gleaners pick fruits and vegetables from generous homeowners and orchards for donation.  And some volunteers, as was the case with the UC Davis Center for Leadership Learning, develop and execute signature volunteer activities and fundraisers that are completely their own.

From January through May, a group of student leaders hosted the iconic "Brinner and Movie" series on the UC Davis campus where, for only $3, guests were treated to amazing door prizes, cartoons, movies and all-you-can -eat pancakes.  All of the proceeds generated by "Brinner and Movie" were donated to the Food Bank, and the money that was raised will enable us to provide thousands of dollars worth of food to needy Yolo County residents.

With the entire summer to look forward to, now's a perfect time to get together with some friends and develop a signature volunteer project.  Give us a call to learn how you can spend your free time helping others in a fun, creative and innovative way.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feeding America Applauds Introduction of Child Nutrition Legislation

Reprint courtesy of  Feeding America
Original publish date:  June 10, 2010

As a member of the Feeding America network of hunger-relief organizations, the Food Bank of Yolo County is proud to share this exciting news story about newly proposed legislation that, if passed, will be a major victory in the effort to promote child nutrition!

Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, today hailed the "Improving Nutrition for America's Children Act of 2010," a bill unveiled by House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Rep. George Miller (D-CA).  Joining him in the announcement were Reps. Carolyn McCarthy
(D-NY) and Todd Platts (R-PA), the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities.  Also joining in the announcement were Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and
Jim McGovern (D-MA). 

This Act would dramatically improve access to nutritious meals both in and out of school, as well as increase the nutritional quality.  The Act focuses on streamlining program administration and providing children with year-round access to healthier, nutritious foods.  In May, Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-ARK) reported a piece of companion legislation to the "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010" out of the Senate Agricultur Committee.  Feeding America has been at the forefront of the push for this legislation and worked collaboratively on its development with members of Congress and organizations involved in the fight against domestic

Daytime television host, author, child nutrition advocate and Feeding America Entertainment Council member Rachael Ray, highlighted measures included in the proposed legislation which are specifically targeted to advance the fight against ever-increasing hunger in the United States.  These measures include enforcement protocols to implement new school food saftety guidelines, support public and private child nutrition partnerships, reduce childhood obesity and improve school wellness.

"The Feeding America network applauds the outstanding leadershipof Chairman Miller in introducing this bill and recognizing the critical importance of programs to help ensure that low income children have increased access to nutritious food both during the school day and when school is out, such as in the summer, afterschool or over weekends and vacations from school," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO, Feeding America.  "This is a critical time for our national leaders to address the rapidly unfolding crisis of domestic hunger.  Nearly 17 million children struggle with hunger, not knowing if - or from where - they will get their next meal.  Our children's futures depend on their assurance that hunger will not steal away their opportunities for success.  As a leader in the fight against hunger, Feeding America is especially grateful for the continued and unyielding support extended by Rachael Ray to advance the fight against hunger across America through her public appearances and networking.  The current bill and our continued individual and collective efforts to raise awareness of childhood hunger provide hope for us all.

Feeding America urges swift passage of this bipartisan legislation which will forge a path towards expanding nutrition programs for children in need.  We continue to support President Obama's proposal for $10 billion over 10 years in new funding for child nutrition programs in order to realize the full potential of the Chld Nutrition Law to help end child hunger."

About Feeding America:  Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even trhive.  As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our netwrok members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors.  Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 61,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms.  For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit

Friday, June 4, 2010

How Well Do You Know Kale?

Did you know that kale has high amounts of Vitamin A, C and K?  By eating kale and other cruciferous vegetables, you help lessen the occurrence of a variety of cancers, which include lung, prostrate, colorectal, breast and ovarian cancer.  Recent studies have just found that kale compounds that signal our genes to increase the production of enzymes that detoxify the body by cleansing it and getting rid of harmful compounds.

When shopping for kale, select a kale that is firm, has deeply colored leaves and moist hardy stems.  Choose kale that has smaller leaves since they are tender and have a more mild taste thatn the larger leaves.  Kale should not be washed before stored and should be eaten within 1 or 2 days of purchase because the longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes.

If you haven't already guessed, we are pleased to feature kale as our Veggie of the Month for June!  Check out our Myspace blog every Friday this month for a delicious and innovative kale recipe- starting TODAY!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Capitol Corridor to Help Fight Hunger - One Stop at a Time

Passenger Rail Providers & Food Banks Partner
for the First Multi-Regional
Food Drive to Help the Needy

Capitol Corridor, in partnership with Amtrak and Northern California food banks, is inviting the public to help "Fight Hunger-One Stop at a Time."  From June 1st to June 5th, 2010, Capitol Corridor and Amtrak will have food collection bins at seven staffed stations from Sacramento to San Jose. This is the first time these entities have joined efforts to help feed needy families throughout Northern California. 
"The beginning of summer is a critical time to replenish food banks," Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority Board Chair Jim Holmes said. "During the school year many needy children are served meals at school, but they loose resource when classes break for summer. We want to fight hunger by asking our customers and the communities along our corridor to donate nutritious, non-perishable food items at the collection bins at our stations."
Preferred food donations include rice, beans, peanut butter, canned vegetables, fruits, meat or fish, pasta, breakfast foods, healthy snacks, low-sugar cereal and dry milk. No glass containers, please.  

About Capitol Corridor:
The Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) partners with Amtrak, Union Pacific Railroad, Caltrans and the communities comprising the CCPA to offer inter-city passenger rail service in Northern California. The Capitol Corridor route serves 16 stations along a 170-mile rail corridor between the Sierra Foothills, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley/San Jose. For more information, visit or call 1-877-9-RIDECC (743322)