Placer Food Bank provides over 6,000 holiday turkeysBy: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
Everyone knows that turkeys can not fly. However, when it comes to the holiday season, the Placer Food Bank can certainly make this famed holiday menu item fly onto the table of thousands in need throughout the community.
The Roseville-based nonprofit organization has been bustling with activity in recent weeks to insure those less fortunate have a holiday meal on their table.
“We had our most successful Drive Out Hunger Turkey Drive yet,” said Placer Food Bank executive director Dave Martinez, “thanks to support of our volunteers, partner agencies, corporate partners and community members.”
Placer Food Bank’s beginnings came in 1970 as it was known as the Community Resource Council. The organization was founded to provide low-income individuals and families with services in Placer County, from assistance in obtaining a driver’s license, a social security card as well as food and clothing.
In 1985, the organization began to operate as a food bank and started undergoing rapid growth with a rising need in the area. In 2008, it became known as the Placer Food Bank, just one year before an economic downturn nearly tripled the need for food assistance in the area.
The organization relocated its facility at 8284 Industrial Blvd. in 2010 to its present location in Roseville. Last year, when a neighboring business closed its doors, the facility expanded its operation from approximately 10,500 square feet to more than 30,000 square feet. That made it more efficient to assist the less fortunate population it serves of more than 80,000 individuals each month.
Placer Food Bank works in cooperation with Feeding American and numerous partner charities that are in the form of area churches, food closets and distribution sites. The charity operates with a very small salaried staff, along with hundreds volunteers who provide more than 1,350 hours of volunteer labor each week collaboratively.
When the holidays approach, the Placer Food Bank sees its donations grow. But it also sees the need for assistance grow with an abundance of food-insecure families struggling to make ends meet and unable to put a holiday meal on the table. The organization has sent more thousands of turkeys out the door as of this week for Thanksgiving and is expecting to see the supply and the demand continue well into the Christmas season.
The majority of the turkeys that have gone to the population in need have come from various donors throughout the area, fund drives and most recently, the third annual Drive Out Hunger Drive at the Roseville Automall this month.
“To date, we have collected 6,448 turkeys’ and we are still receiving donations every day,” said Martinez.” Between turkeys collected from our third annual Drive Out Hunger Turkey Drive, as well as many more turkey donations from community partners and individuals, we will be able to provide turkeys to over 6,500 families with the help of our agencies in El Dorado, Nevada and Placer counties.”
With Thanksgiving now over, the busy days for Placer Food Bank are far from complete. The Christmas season tends to put an increased demand on services and the need for holiday turkeys, hams and other items needed. Beyond Christmas, the need doesn’t diminish either and, according to Martinez, the colder months are tough on many.
“During the holiday season, giving is extremely strong. It’s on everyone’s mind,” said Martinez. “But once the holiday season ends, food donations tend to slip to the back of our minds. It declines during spring and summer, the time when we most need the support. By increasing donations and awareness, we can provide much-needed aid to those in need year-round.”
For every dollar donated, the Placer Food Bank is able to furnish three meals to an individual in need. The transformation of funds is made possible through its many resources and programs as well as some assistance from state and area agencies. However, the bulk of the funding and the resources come right from the community members themselves.
“For those in need, the winter causes a lot of anxiety,” said Martinez. “This time of year imposes financial burden. Families and seniors that are already strained financially are often the hardest hit. Such families face difficult decisions about where to place their resources, being forced to choose among heating their homes, feeding themselves and feeding their children.”
Those wishing to donate to Placer Food Bank or learn more about the organization can visit PlacerFoodBank.org or call 916-783-0481. Many stores and businesses host food drives and fundraisers as well, including Gold Country Media, the publishers of this community newspaper and others in the region (see related story).
“By donating to Placer Food Bank, our community will be able to offer hope and relief to those in need,” said Martinez. “We pledge to do our very best to help those that are food insecure, because hunger doesn’t take a season off or a day off. For many, it affects them each and every day.
Gold Country Media to help Placer Food Bank
Each new subscription will create 60 meals for those in need
Gold Country Media staff report
As the Placer Food Bank works to insure the area’s less fortunate this holiday season, Gold Country Media is joining in the effort to feed those affected by hunger in our communities.
Throughout the holiday season, Gold Country Media is offering a special to have the community newspaper delivered to residents’ doorsteps weekly as well as the monthly South Placer Magazine for just $3.67 per month and the Placer Food Bank will benefit from this offer.
“The Placer Food Bank does an amazing job in transforming every dollar donated into three meals for a less fortunate member of our communities. This time of year, their need increases but they need assistance all year,” said Bill Sullivan, Gold Country Media’s associate publisher. “We want to help them in their mission this holiday season. It’s a great opportunity to be informed with delivery of your local community newspaper each week and make a difference in the lives of others.”
For every subscription that is purchased prior to Dec. 21, Gold Country Media will provide 60 meals for the Placer Food Bank to assist with their increased demand for the holiday season. The program includes new subscribers to the Press Tribune, Loomis News, Placer Herald and The Lincoln News Messenger. The twice-weekly Auburn Journal is also part of the program at a slightly higher rate, due to the paper’s frequency.
“We appreciate the generosity of Gold Country Media,” said Placer Food Bank executive director David Martinez “When the holidays roll around, the need increases and so do the contributions. Donating tends to slip to the back of our minds but the need is still out there. By increasing donations and awareness, we can continue to serve the community in need through the spring and summer months. This special program from Gold Country Media will help with our need and raise awareness to the community as well.”
Those wishing to take advantage of the special subscription offer can do so by contacting Gold Country Media at 530-885-5656 or simply clicking HERE.