Raley’s Family of Fine Stores has kicked off its 29th holiday bag drive with the goal of raising 3 million pounds of food to help local food banks meet the increased demand for food to serve thousands of hungry families and individuals throughout Northern California and Nevada this holiday season.
Reflecting the nation’s ongoing focus on healthy eating, Raley’s will continue to offer a variety of fresh and nutritious items. “Raley’s Food For Families holiday bag campaign is a simple way to share the season with those in your community struggling with hunger,” said Jennie Teel-Wolter, Food For Families Development Officer. “We have packed each bag with fresh, wholesome, and nutritious food like fresh milk and carrots, items our food banks desperately need this time of year.” This year’s holiday bag will once again include a gallon of milk, as up to 95% of food banks don’t have enough milk to meet their clients’ needs.
Donations can be made through December 31st at check stands in all Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Sources stores. Individuals can also make an online doantion at www.foodforfamilies.org/donate, on Facebook, or by texting ENDHUNGER to 85944. Raley’s teams up with customers to more than double the contribution to the local community- a ten-dollar donation will buy a bag of healthy food worth $27.
Food For Families partners with 72 food banks throughout Northern California and Nevada to distribute the food to help feed individuals that are food insecure throughout the year. Funds raised directly benefit partners within that community. The program was established in 1986 and is unique in the United States in that Raley’s absorbs all administrative expenses ensuring that 100% of every donation goes toward feeding neighbors in need.
“Raley’s Food For Families is a key partner in our continuing service to the growing number of clients in Elk Grove and South Sacramento County, ” said Marie Jachino, Executive Director, Elk Grove Food Bank Services. “The largest increase has been is in the senior community, which has grown by 280%. We greatly appreciate the incredible support from Food For Families of non-perishable food products, fresh fruit and vegetables that now make up a substantial part of all the food we distribute.”
Up to 1 in 6 Americans are unsure of where or when they will have their next meal. A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed California’s child poverty rate — 27 percent — is the worst in the nation. In Sacramento County, some 244,000 individuals consider themselves to be “food insecure,” meaning they do not have enough access to food.
In 2014, over 2 million pounds of food was contributed which equated to more than 85,000 bags of food distributed to local food banks. To date, Food For Families has raised more than $33 million and donated more than 24 million pounds of food to fight hunger.