Hunger in our community is a problem the County of Alameda is determined to fight, and they’re doing it through healthy competition.

If you walked through any of the 19 participating county departments this spring, you’d have seen them transform into mini art museums as part of the 6th annual Countywide Stone Soup Food Drive and Design Competition.

County departments participated in friendly competition in raising food and funds for our Food Bank. They do it by creating imaginative displays out of donated cans, bags, and boxes of food. They also organize a Virtual Food Drive to see which department can raise the most amount of money.

Displays this year included:

“A Very Hungry Caterpillar” by the Alameda County Library

“Hunger is No Game – Food is Coming” by the Information Technology

And this year’s winner:

“Imagine Vision 2026” by the Board of Supervisors

The display is made up of 700 cans. Andrew Johnston, a local artist and Alameda County Art Commissioner, actually painted the image of John Lennon. The Board of Supervisors’ theme was based on its long-term vision for supporting communities to thrive over the next decade.

“John Lennon artfully crafted lyrics together that spoke to issues that still parallel our time over half a century later. And he was right – he is not the only dreamer who envisions truth, peace, love, and an end to hunger,” the department said.

The Stone Soup Drive is usually held during the holidays, but in 2019, the county changed the timing to better support the Food Bank’s needs.

“The Food Bank typically finds it especially difficult to provide food for hungry residents during the first months of the year – after receiving an annual surge of donations during the holidays,” the county said in a press release.

And this year was the county’s most successful drive yet. Employees from a record 19 county departments donated more than $13,000 and collected over 16,000 pounds of food, helping provide more than 44,000 meals.

Food Bank employees Katherine Avila and Barbara Darrow-Blake accepting a check from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and County Administrator.

Over the past six years, the county’s support has provided thousands of meals to our neighbors. We’re incredibly grateful for their support. Through this joint effort, the world John Lennon imagined all those years ago is even more attainable now. Together, we can end hunger and create a community where everyone can thrive.