Our friends at the Fairfield Inn asked for two food donation barrels for the hotel lobby.

Community FoodBank’s annual food drive tradition has been lighting up the community for the holidays. While we have not seen any of our 55 gallon food donation barrels hung from the eaves of houses or perched on top of trees, we have seen the unmistakable sparkle of giving in San Benito County!

Each year, from November through December, food donation barrels wrapped with the Community FoodBank logo start popping up throughout San Benito County. They go to schools, retail businesses, offices, churches, hotels, supermarkets, martial arts studios — just about anyplace people might decide to share a bit of the holidays. More than 200 barrels have been circulating through the community and in January we will pick up the remaining barrels and add the donated food to the extraordinary total for the food drive – we’re talking tons of food, literally.

It’s in the baskets

You may have read recently about the unique delivery to the food bank of holiday meal fixings in laundry baskets. It’s a story that paints a clear picture of how caring our community is. The students and their families at Enterprise Martial Arts in Hollister held a kick-a-thon in October, raising $2000.00, and then used that money to buy 60 laundry baskets – the small round ones – and enough groceries to fill each basket with food for a meal for a family of four. Plus the turkeys. Yes — they bought frozen turkeys for each one of those baskets, too.

Laundry baskets filled with canned goods and dried foods

Laundry baskets at Enterprise Martial Arts filled with meal fixings for the holidays.

Three tons

Or there is the story about the astounding poundage collected by local students. Food drives at local schools like Rancho San Justo and San Benito High School gave students the opportunity to be a part of the giving sparkle this year. At the time of this article, Community FoodBank was weighing over 2,900 pounds of food – nearly three tons – collected by San Benito High School students and staff.

Large bins in FoodBank warehouse hold food drive donations from San Benito High School

The time of year is an intentional one for conducting our food drive. The donation barrels that are filled with canned goods and other non-perishable food come at the time of year when local farms slow down and the flow of fresh produce coming to the food bank also slows. This means your donations fill a critical gap in the food distribution network, helping feed the 6,000 people Community Food Bank serves each month.

Stay tuned – we will be announcing in January this year’s total poundage of food donations.

Southside School posts donation barrels at their door.

Community Food Bank’s mission is to provide food, nutritional education and advocacy for our neighbors in need within San Benito County.


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