Sonoma Raceway Takes Green Flag on Thanksgiving Food Drive
Sonoma Raceway has kicked off its season of giving with the 19th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which runs through Nov. 22.
Race fans and community members are encouraged to donate non-perishable food items at several North Bay locations. All food collected will be distributed to two Sonoma County food banks: Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) in Santa Rosa.
"The holiday food baskets give people and families a source of food during the holidays that they don't otherwise have," said Dee Weaver, coordinator of the F.I.S.H. Holiday Food Basket program. "It's a complete giveaway, and we fill up apple boxes with canned goods, fresh produce, eggs, cheese and a gift certificate for meat and poultry."
The raceway's annual food drive has distributed more than 39 tons of food since its inception in 2000, including 6,232-pounds of food and more than $1,300 in donations to the food banks in 2018.
"Last year, Sonoma Raceway's annual food drive brought in nearly 4,000 pounds of donated food to the Redwood Empire Food Bank," said Lisa Cannon, Director of Development, REFB. "Food drives are one of the best sources of donated food for us because the donations are hand-picked by members of our community. One in 6 Sonoma County residents go to bed hungry every day, and food drives like this one are a vital part of our mission to help them."
Recommended non-perishable food items include tuna and canned meat, peanut butter, canned soups, stews and chili, rice, dry beans, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, high protein granola bars and trail mix or nuts.
Food items can be dropped off in the collection bins at the following locations:
- Sonoma Raceway (at Gate 1 or main office), 29355 Arnold Dr., 800-870-RACE (7223), www.SonomaRaceway.com.
- Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority, 630 2nd Street West, Sonoma. (707) 996-2102, www.svfra.org.
- Schell-Vista Fire Station, 22950 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-2633, www.schellvistafire.com
- Sonoma Market, 500 West Napa Street, Sonoma, 707-996-3411, www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
- Glen Ellen Village Market, 13751 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen, 707-996-6728, www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
- RKA, 7694 Bell Road, Windsor, (707) 836-7659, www.rka-luggage.com.
- Food items or checks made out to F.I.S.H. or REFB can also be mailed to the raceway: Jen Imbimbo, Sonoma Raceway, 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA, 95476.
Windsor's RKA Motorcycle Luggage will continue its annual tradition of hosting a motorcycle group ride on Saturday, Nov. 23, 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. Riders can also participate in a raffle and enjoy lunch at the Raceway Café. For more information and to sign up for the ride, visit www.rka-luggage.com.
The Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) is the largest hunger-relief organization serving north coastal California from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. Last year, 82,000 children, seniors, and adults were served in Sonoma County, 9.1 million pounds of fresh produce was offered through their programs and 8,500 volunteers donated their time, doing the work of 45 full-time staff. To learn more about the Redwood Empire Food Bank, please visit www.refb.org.
Friends in Sonoma Helping (F.I.S.H.) provides temporary or supplemental help to residents in need of assistance, generally but not limited to: food, clothing, rent, utility assistance or transportation to medical, dental or social service appointments. Over 160 FISH volunteers and numerous contributors work together to act as a lifeline to those in need and keep families in Sonoma Valley from becoming homeless or going hungry.