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Our Community Focus

Food Bank Celebrates 40 Years

Sep 02, 2015 12:46PM ● By Elena Hutslar

By Rachel Braver, Communications Coordinator

In 1975, a group of people recognized families in our community had a critical need for help with food while items like day-old bread from the grocery stores would often go to waste. Although the problem seemed overwhelming, they knew if the community worked together it could be solved. This group started what is now the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano (FBCCS).

They were pioneers in the world of food assistance as food banks were just coming into existence. When Executive Director Larry Sly joined FBCCS in 1976, the grassroots beginnings meant distributing food in a parking lot out of a truck and borrowed trailer. The food bank provided food to a small group of churches that were helping people until their Food Stamp benefits took effect. The food bank provided a service to these smaller agencies that did not have the capacity for, or access to, larger quantities of food.

Over the years, FBCCS has gone from providing emergency food to a small number of people, to a resource that one in eight of our neighbors rely on.

As the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano looks back at forty years of serving the community, we have grown to work in a much larger and more sophisticated way, but the focus remains on providing food to those in need, just as it did in 1975.

There is no better time to commemorate this milestone anniversary than during Hunger Action Month. Every September, during Hunger Action Month, the food bank joins Feeding America in their campaign to Turn Orange for Hunger Relief™. Orange is the official color of hunger relief and makes a bold statement to start the difficult conversation about hunger.

Here are some easy ways to take action against hunger in your community:

TURN ORANGE by wearing orange every Thursday in September and share Turn Orange pictures on social media with @FoodBankCCS and @FeedingAmerica using the hashtag #HungerAction.

TAKE ACTION by volunteering at a local food distribution or organizing a food drive.

DONATE at or hold a food drive with your neighbors, at work or at your place of worship.

The work FBCCS began forty years ago must continue today because everyone deserves proper nutrition to thrive. We thank you for being part of the supportive community that makes our work possible. For more information about the food bank, visit


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