Volunteers from Bill Howe Plumbing make giving back a family affair!

Volunteer Spotlight: Bill Howe Plumbing

by Cristina Sierra, Volunteer Engagement Coordinator

Bill Howe is an amazing company that dedicates community service to the San Diego Food Bank. They volunteer with us every month bringing in 30 to 50 volunteers each time! Amber Baynard, an employee of Bill Howe absolutely loves volunteering with her company at the Food Bank. Bill Howe has consistently volunteered with the Food Bank for six years! I asked Baynard if she could provide any advice for companies who might be considering building a volunteer team for their companies, and Baynard had some really great advice.

“Dedication takes time; do not get discouraged. It took Bill Howe six years to get its turn out and keep it consistent. Get t-shirts made, build a team, make or bring food to the event, and then follow up with everyone to see how well the volunteer event went,” Baynard said. (What great advice indeed, Baynard!)

For those companies interested in volunteering at the San Diego Food Bank, we encourage you to take Baynard’s advice, and also remember it starts with the kindness of our hearts.

Many San Diegans face the threat of hunger every single day, and the San Diego Food Bank is truly at the forefront serving those who are considered food insecure. According to the USDA, food insecurity is defined as multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake. One in six people living in San Diego are food insecure, which means the individual, might not know where their next meal will come from or when they will eat again.

Companies like Bill Howe help inspect, sort and package food for individuals and families in need. The Food Bank serves 400,000 individuals and families each month. If you can imagine a full house at Qualcomm Stadium, its seat capacity is 71,500. Now, envision six Qualcomm stadiums filled with hungry individuals and families – that is the amount of folks the San Diego Food Bank feeds on a monthly basis. The Food Bank simply could not serve on such a grand scale without the help of volunteers. Volunteers are the force behind our mission to fight hunger and feed hope. Groups like Bill Howe seriously contribute many hours and efforts to accomplish our vision of a hunger-free San Diego. Thank you Bill Howe! See you next month!

Thank you to all restaurants who participated!

Thankful Thursday: Dollar-A-Dish

by Michael Minjares, Development Grant Writer

School children living in poverty who face the threat of hunger daily will receive weekly backpacks of nutritious food thanks to the support of local restaurants, their patrons and the Dollar-A-Dish campaign.

This year’s successful fundraising effort saw 31 restaurants participate raising thousands of dollars for the Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, a school-based activity that provides a backpack of child-friendly, nutritious food to students who oftentimes go hungry over the weekend when school meals are unavailable.

The Dollar-A-Dish campaign took place during the month of August, and saw restaurants donate $1 every time a designated signature dish was ordered. Additionally, restaurant patrons also made direct donations as part of this campaign. In total, the culinary-themed campaign raised $19,688, enough to provide weekly backpacks of food to nearly 100 school children living in poverty in communities throughout San Diego County for an entire year.

The Food Bank sends a “Thankful Thursday” thank you to the 31 participating restaurants and Sysco for their support. Additionally, a big “THANK YOU” goes to Jan Borkum, of the San Diego Chapter of the California Restaurant Association, for all of her work in organizing and heading up this year’s event. Your support and involvement make a positive impact on thousands of families right here in San Diego.

Dollar-A-Dish Restaurant Participants Included:

100 Wines
Bali Hai Restaurant
Bernini’s Bistro
Blue Point Coastal Cuisine
Busalacchi’s a Modo Mio
Café Coyote
Café Japengo
Carnitas’ Snack Shack
Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop
Cucina Enoteca Del Mar
Cucina Urbana
D Bar Restaurant
Indigo Grill
Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge
OB Warehouse
The Blind Burro
The Patio on Goldfinch
The Patio on Lamont
The Red Door
The Smoking Goat
The Swell Café
The Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge
Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
URBN Coal Fired Pizza – El Cajon
URBN Coal Fired Pizza – Encinitas
URBN Coal Fired Pizza – North Park
Village Pizzeria- Orange Ave