Thankful Thursday: DPR Construction

by Michael Minjares, Development Grant Writer

“DPR Construction – Integral and Indispensable to San Diego Food Bank’s Success in Assisting Low-Income Community Members”

The vision of DPR Construction is to be “integral and indispensable” to the communities the San Diego builder serves. This company-wide vision manifests itself at the local level through a series of volunteer activities and community projects organized by individuals with a passion for getting involved and making a difference. Recently, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and the low-income, food insecure community members we serve have been the beneficiaries of DPR Construction’s team member’s skill and passion for enriching the San Diego community.

Beginning with last September’s  25 Days 25 Year company celebration, continuing with the 12 Days of Giving effort in December and including last month’s volunteer showing at the Food Bank’s Miramar warehouse, the team from DPR Construction has regularly found ways to support the work of the Food Bank in addressing hunger issues. Led by Sarah Williams, the building company’s service is always marked by enthusiasm, selflessness and dedication to the project.

“With the Food Bank we can have a direct impact on the community,” said Williams in explaining why DPR Construction has chosen to get involved in this way. “It puts our people in the community with an established organization that has a great track record. It’s the type of impact DPR Construction wants to have. We know what we are doing is helping other people. And, we have a great time getting the job done.”

Teams of DPR Construction volunteers have sorted food products, stocked boxes and assisted with other production tasks during their time at the Food Bank. The local company, one of San Diego’s top-ranked builders, has also hosted a virtual food drive to garner financial support for the Food Bank’s work. In addition, Williams worked with Food Bank staff to write and submit a grant application to the DPR Foundation. That effort resulted in a grant award of $10,000 being presented to the Food Bank to provide support for the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program, which provides weekend food to chronically-hungry elementary school children.

“For me personally, I was really affected by the volunteer orientation video we were shown and the number of children who go hungry in our community,” Williams shared. “My primary passion and area of interest lies with helping youth. I was very excited the grant proposal was selected for funding. It’s nice to know how strong the Food Bank is and how many individuals and other organizations it supports.”

According to Williams, DPR Construction’s ongoing engagement with the Food Bank will continue throughout 2016 with several future opportunities already scheduled.

“We have a lot of good-hearted people and it’s as easy as pointing them in the right direction,” Williams said. “People who have gone and volunteered at the Food Bank have had fun doing it. It’s great when you know what you are doing is helping other people.”

The Food Bank sends a heartfelt “Thankful Thursday” thank you to the wonderful team from DPR Construction for all of their support – volunteer and financial. No doubt, you are an integral and indispensable part of our efforts to address hunger and food insecurity in our local community.

If you or your group would like to set up a time to come in and volunteer at the Food Bank’s Miramar warehouse, please check out the “Volunteer” page on our website here and complete the “Group Registration” form.  For assistance, contact Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Cristina Sierra at 858-863-5121.

Nutrition Notes: Amazing Asparagus

by Divya Denduluri (MS Nutritional Biology, CLEC), Nutrition Education Volunteer

Spring season is here, and so is asparagus! Available from March through June each year, asparagus is rich in iron, potassium, vitamin A, folic acid, thiamin, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. Asparagus spears can be white, green or purple in color, and are available in standard, large, extra-large and jumbo sizes – the thicker spears being juicier.

Asparagus is used to make a variety of soups, salads, noodles and stir-fry and can be eaten simply steamed with a dash of salt and pepper. Did you know that asparagus contains the phytochemical rutin which helps strengthen blood vessels and can help fight cancers?

Here’s a recipe for a stir-fry with asparagus and tofu. It is delicious as is, or served with brown rice, quinoa or noodles.

Recipe: Asparagus andTofu Stir-fry

Preparation time: 
10 minutes plus 2 hours for marinating the tofu

Number of servings: 4


  • 2 cups tofu, cubed
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3-4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp coconut milk
  • ½ tsp Sriracha sauce for a spicy twist
  • Salt and lemon juice to taste



  1. Mix together the soy sauce and salt, add the tofu and marinate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan.
  3. Add the garlic and asparagus and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tofu, peanut butter and coconut milk.
  5. Stir for 3-4 more minutes. Enjoy!


Nutrition Notes: Pack a Punch into Your Sandwich

by Divya Denduluri (MS Nutritional Biology, CLEC), Nutrition Education Volunteer

Sandwiches are amazingly versatile and can be easy to put together, less messy, healthy and satisfyingly scrumptious. They can also be made to accommodate most eating choices including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free and nut-free.

Peanut butter jelly sandwiches, bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches are popular sandwiches in America. Sandwiches can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. Most of the ingredients to make a tasty and nutrient-packed sandwich are usually available in our kitchens. So go ahead, get creative and invent your new favorite sandwich!

Here are some basic ingredients to get started!

1. Start with 2 slices of bread. Whole wheat, rye, multi-grain and gluten-free bread options are easily available in grocery stores.

2. Choose veggies or fruits like lettuce, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, avocados, onions, bell peppers, cucumbers, sautéed mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini and artichokes, sprouts, strawberries, kiwi, bananas, apples, pears, raisins and grapes.

3. Pick protein sources from a variety of lean meats, seafood, beans, tofu, low-fat cheese and cream cheese, and nut butters.

4. Add flavor to the sandwich using a dash of pepper, honey, low-fat mayo, salsa, guacamole or your favorite dip or salad dressing.

5. You can choose to grill or bake the assembled sandwich, especially the savory ones to add extra zing to the sandwiches.

Need some inspiration? Here are some resources for delicious sandwich recipes!

102 Super Sandwiches

Healthy Sandwich Recipes & Tips

50 Vegetarian Sandwich Recipes