FAIRFIELD — Soup and support were on the menu Sunday as the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano invited the public to see what the nonprofit does and to drum up support for helping feed those in need in the two counties.
“This is an event to develop the community,” said Food Band Executive Director Larry Sly. “It is to bring in people to see what we do, and engage them in the role of how they can help.”
This is the second such event offered this year by the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. A similar event took place Saturday in Concord and was attended by about 200 supporters, Sly said.
About 60 Solano County supporters were led on a quick tour Sunday of the 30,000-square-foot facility on Courage Drive before being served soup and listening to Sly and others talk about the Food Bank, what it does, and to ask for help in the form of volunteers or donations.
One of those who turned out for the gathering was Anne Smith, who came with her husband.
“We heard about this at church and we thought it would be good to help out,” Smith said. “We like to help the needy.”
One way people could immediately help, Sly said, was to lobby their congressional representatives to keep from cutting funding to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is known as CalFresh in California. The program provides food assistance to nearly 4 million low-income people across the state, three-fifths of them children.
Sly said he fears that if CalFresh funding is cut, those who were fed by that program will then turn to the Food Bank for help.
Already, the number of people turning to the Food Bank and the community organizations that it supplies has nearly doubled in the past couple of years, he said.
“Our need is up dramatically,” Sly said. He said if CalFresh is cut, “more people will be turning to us who are presently getting government food assistance.”
The Food Bank presently feeds approximately 149,000 people, of which 65,000 are fed in Solano County, Sly said.
Raymond Beaty, director of the Vacaville Storehouse, which gets support from the Food Bank, agreed that the community needs to help out to help the Food Bank feed the area’s needy.
Beaty said he is embarrassed that there is so much hunger in Solano County, but said he is excited to know “that we can do something about it” and that “there is an agency making sure people have enough food.”
For more information about the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, or to donate or volunteer, go to www.foodbankccs.org.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.