Sonoma Raceway kicks off its season of giving with the 15th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which runs now through Nov. 20.

Race fans and community members have the opportunity to donate at eight different locations, and all food collected through the drive will be distributed to two local food banks: Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Redwood Empire Food Bank. All donations to the Redwood Empire Food Bank will go directly to the victims of the Valley Fire in Lake County.

The Red Cross of California Northwest, one of the primary response groups for the Valley Fire, designated the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) as the donation recipient of non-perishable food items. In an effort to streamline responses, the REFB collects all food donations, serving as the clearinghouse for organizations and agencies that are on the ground serving individuals displaced by the fire. 

"With thousands of people affected by the Valley Fire still in need of help, we are extremely grateful for the continued support of our community." said REFB Community and Events Coordinator, Dalton Wiley. "While hunger is year-round for our most vulnerable neighbors, food and money collected during the holiday season helps to support ending hunger every day of the year.

Sonoma Raceway's annual food drive has generated more than 61,700 pounds of food over the past 14 years, including nearly 7,700 pounds in 2014.

Non-perishable food items for the Thanksgiving Food Drive can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Sonoma Raceway (at Gate 1 or the main office), 29355 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. 800-870-RACE (7223), racesonoma.com.    
  • Sonoma Market, 500 West Napa Street, Sonoma, 707-996-3411, sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
  • Glen Ellen Village Market, 13751 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen, 707-996-6728, sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
  • RKA, 7698 Bell Road, Windsor, 800-349-1-RKA, rka-luggage.com.
  • Angelo's Wine Country Deli, 23400 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-938-3688
  • Carneros Deli, 23001 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-939-1646
  • 76 Gas Stations, 19080 Arnold Drive and 23003 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, 707-938-8867
  • Food items or donations can also be mailed to the raceway: Laurence Lea, Highways 37 and 121, Sonoma, CA, 95476.

RKA Motorcycle Luggage will continue its annual tradition of hosting a motorcycle group ride on Saturday, Nov. 21, which will include a pit stop at Sonoma Raceway to drop off collected food items and take a spin around the Sonoma Raceway road course. For more information and to sign up for the ride, visit www.rka-luggage.com.   

Since 1987, the Redwood Empire Food Bank's (www.refb.org) service has grown to meet the rising need for food assistance and expanded to focus on providing as much healthy food as possible and including nutrition education. They currently assist over 82,000 Sonoma County residents every month, providing food to low-income children, seniors, and working families.

FISH (www.friendsinsonomahelping.org) has been helping Sonoma Valley residents in times of need since 1970 and provides not only food, but clothing, transportation and emergency rental assistance to Sonoma Valley residents in need. FISH has been a beneficiary of the raceway's food drive since its inception in 2001.

For more information on the food drive, visit www.racesonoma.com or contact Laurence Lea at (707) 933-3927 or llea@racesonoma.com.