What’s for dinner? It’s a question we ask ourselves daily.  The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties (FBCCS) answers that question for 149,000 of our neighbors every month, an increase of 12.9% since the fall of 2010. Last year alone the FBCCS supplied 13 million meals through its direct distribution system that services 175 organizations within the two counties. “One in four people (in Contra Costa and Solano Counties) are at risk of hunger,” according to Lisa Sherrill, Community Relations Manager for the FBCCS, “which means they’re not certain where their next meal will come from.” That’s quite a sobering statistic.

With over 70,000 square feet of warehouse space in Fairfield and Concord, the Food Bank purchases food by the truckload including milk, eggs, bread, fresh produce and nonperishable items. It’s a resource for the Benicia Community Action Council and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  FBCCS operates primarily on cash donations and food drives. 95 cents of every dollar is spent on the food program by providing prepared bags of food for individuals, or hot meals accessed through non-profit organizations.

While traditional food drives are still effective, FBCCS has a new alternative initiative, a Virtual Food Drive.  A Virtual Food Drive allows everyone with access to the internet the ability to donate with the click of a button, just like online shopping. No need to go to the grocery store and purchase non-perishables and take them to a Food Drive collection area. Now, through the power of technology, feeding the hungry and helping our neighbors is easy. Benicia Magazine is hosting its own Virtual Food Drive. To donate, visit foodbankccs.org/beniciamagdrive and select the items to be donated, then proceed to checkout. FBCCS buys in bulk so dollars spent at the Virtual Food Drive go farther and provide more meals to the many folks in need.