Hands4Hope’ biannual Food Blitz to Feed the Hungry takes place at local grocery stores from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9.
Food collected will fill the shelves of the Food Bank of El Dorado County and Twin Lakes Food Bank of Folsom. This year’s goal is to collect 4,000 pounds of food and $7,500 in cash and gift cards.
An estimated 160 youth and adult volunteers from Hands4Hope will man tables in front of select grocery stores, from Fair Oaks up to Placerville, including participating Raley’s, Bel Air, Safeway, and Nugget Markets. There, they will collect canned and non-perishable food, along with cash and grocery gift cards. Shoppers will be provided with a wish list to use when purchasing and donating needed items.
Over the past several years area food banks have reported a reduction in overall donations, but an increase in the number of local families and individuals needing assistance. In the early fall and late spring food bank shelves tend to be emptier than during winter and holiday months when community awareness is higher. In 2011 Hands4Hope’s two Food Bank Blitzes brought in a total of 7,818 pounds of food and $19,000 in cash and grocery gift cards.
Collected cash and gift cards are split 50/50 between the food banks, local agencies benefitting those in need, and the Hands4Hope — Youth Making a Difference organization. Grocery gift cards and cash are given to those in need with special dietary restrictions (such as senior citizens and diabetes patients) who may not be able to take advantage of standard food donations. Hands4Hope’s portion of the funds is used solely to expand existing community outreach activities.
Hands4Hope is a non-profit, non-denominational, youth driven outreach organization based in El Dorado Hills. The organization’s mission is to grow the next generation of socially responsible citizens by engaging youth in community outreach. Hands4Hope consists of youth volunteers ranging in age from kindergarten through 12th grade.
For more information or to volunteer for a two-hour shift visit hands4hopeyouth.org or call Jennifer Bassett at 916-919-5695.