The holidays will look different for so many of us this year. Smaller gatherings, canceled trips, and traditions put on hold. But, one thing that’s stayed the same: the generosity of our community.

COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on our work, and for safety reasons and resource restrictions, we had to put our traditional food drives on hold.

But, there’s still a very impactful, COVID-friendly way you can help this holiday season and into the new year. Take your generosity online by hosting a Virtual Food Drive.

What is a Virtual Food Drive?

A Virtual Food Drive (VFD) is a fundraiser that allows you to shop for our most-needed items: fresh fruits and veggies, peanut butter and oats, canned tuna and dried beans (to name a few). It’s 100% online so you don’t need to go to the grocery store or bring cans to a food barrel.

The best part? Thanks to our bulk purchasing power, the money you’d spend in a grocery store is enough to fill 3-4 virtual barrels.

Here are some inspiring ways our friends and partners have hosted a VFD:

1. 120,000 ‘Todahs’

For decades, our Food Bank has benefited the passion and generosity of the Bay Area’s Jewish community’s High Holy Days Food Drive (HHFD). In 2019, East Bay synagogues collected enough food to provide 21,000 meals. – ranking the HHFD among our Food Bank’s largest annual food drives. This year, with food insecurity doubling because of the pandemic, the East Bay congregations didn’t let a lack of food barrels stop them from helping. Instead, the synagogues hosted Virtual Food Drives that raised enough to provide 120,000 meals. From all of us, “todah rabbah!”

2. A Socially-Distanced Way To Give Back

Seventeen-year-old Minju has been staying busy during the pandemic – helping provide tens of thousands of meals for our community. She’s supported ACCFB since she was 12, collecting food drive donations in lieu of gifts. She participates in her high school’s homecoming food drive where grades compete to fill as many food barrels as possible. “It’s super fun and gets really competitive!” But when the pandemic started, Minju says she say the enormous impact on our community and wanted to do something to help. She organized a VFD and reached out to principals in her school district, sports teams and clubs, neighbors, and more. Minju helped raise more than $15,000 – enough to help provide over 30,000 meals.

3. Support We Can Bank On

1st United Credit Union is a longtime supporter of our Food Bank. Since 2012, they’ve sponsord the Oakland A’s Homeruns for Hunger: for every homerun the A’s hit, 1st United Credit Union donates $50 to our Food Bank. And, they host a yearly food drive. Rather than setting up food barrels, they organized a VFD this year and matched donations. In all, 1st United Credit Union’s VFD raise $25,000, helping provide more than 50,000 meals for our community.

Inspired? Grab your virtual shopping cart and organize your VFD today!

Need some help getting started? Check out our VFD Resource page or email Katherine Avila at