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December 3, 2020

The term “Food Drive” might elicit a vision of canned food donations filling barrels and boxes to the brim for the holidays. This year, the annual State Employee Food Drive has gone digital to ensure the safety of State employees and funnel much needed support to California’s food bank. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on hunger in California.The fact that food banks have lost upwards of 50% of their volunteer workforce, paired with the fact that hunger in California has doubled since March, means that this holiday season is more challenging than ever, both for the frontline workers at food banks, and for those who are experiencing food insecurity at home.

Because of this, the CDFA is encouraging State employees to donate three things to local food banks in their communities this year:

As always, food donations are appreciated and encouraged. Many food banks have set up alternate systems, such as drive-through drop offs, for safe donations. Find your local CAFB member food bank here to find any specific health and safety requirements.

Monetary donations are the best way to help keep food on the shelves of your local food bank. With an unprecedented number of families turning to food banks right now, additional funding will help ensure that these increased needs are met. Each $1 donation to your local food bank can provide up to five meals. Plus, donating online is an easy and safe way to provide support from a distance. Find your local CAFB food bank here to provide a monetary donation.

Free Time
The availability of volunteers at local food banks has dramatically decreased, due to the fact that most volunteers tend to be older adults who must stay home to stay safe, and corporate volunteer event teams that have placed a temporary pause on such outings. If you are able to, put on your mask, bring some hand sanitizer, and lend a helping hand in place of those who are unable to at this time. Find your local CAFB food bank here to set up a time to volunteer. Food banks have rigorous safety procedures to protect the health and safety of staff and volunteers, the food itself and those who are receiving it.

Over the past nine months, Californians have had to adapt, learn, and change our ways of doing much of our everyday lives. Although this year’s food drive might look a little different than in years past, it is still possible to make a huge difference through your food, funds, and free time. For more information, visit fooddrive.ca.gov.

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