The holidays are the Food Bank’s busiest time of year, a time when the majority of monetary and food donations come in. And, volunteers! Between November and December, more than 3,500 volunteers flooded into our Food Bank. They sorted produce, distributed our Mobile Pantries, packed holiday meal bags, and provided more than 1 million pounds of food to our community.

That food amounted to more than 885,000 meals, providing not just food for the holidays, but hope and peace of mind for families. More than 60 percent of the food we distribute is fresh produce, and our volunteers are critical in getting healthy fruits and veggies to the 1 in 5 county residents we serve.

Here’s a look at a few other ways volunteers ensured children, adults and seniors in our community had a brighter holiday and a healthier start to the New Year.

Safeway and NBC’s Feed the Need Food Drive

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The Saturday before Thanksgiving marks one of the year’s biggest grocery shopping days and one of our biggest food drives. We’re only able to pull it off thanks to volunteers.

More than 170 volunteers spent their Saturday at 33 Safeway stores around Alameda County, collecting food donations. During the food drive, 24,000 bags of food were donated, providing much-needed food for our neighbors.

Hendrick Thanksgiving Meals

Volunteers from Hendrick Automotive Group spent a day in our warehouse building Thanksgiving meal boxes to ensure hundreds of Alameda County families could enjoy a full, healthy holiday meal.

“This is part of the Hendrick culture, taking care of people and community,” Rebekka, marketing manager of East Bay BMW and East Bay MINI, said.

From turkeys to fresh fruits and veggies to apple pies and dinner rolls – these boxes were prepared with great care. Thank you, Hendrick.

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Every year, we’re amazed by the community’s spirit of giving over the holidays. And this year, all 3,500+ volunteers really stepped up. We couldn’t be more grateful.