NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48 will team up with Safeway for the annual “Nourishing Neighbors” food drive for a month-long effort to fight hunger in the Bay Area. The “Nourishing Neighbors” food drive benefitting Bay Area Food Banks will take place at 161 Safeway locations throughout the Bay Area through December 29.
Emergency assistance requests at local food banks have increased dramatically due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the COVID-19 crisis, an alarming 1 in 9 people in the Bay Area turned to the food banks for emergency and supplemental food. Now, Bay Area Food Banks estimate at least 1.5 million Bay Area residents are in need of food bank assistance.
“We are proud to once again partner with Safeway for the ‘Nourishing Neighbors’ food drive and connect our communities with the assistance they need,” said Stacy Owen, President and General Manager of NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and need for social distancing our local food banks are facing a shortage of volunteers as the need for food assistance has surged. Our goal is to give people an easy way to help while they are out buying groceries for their families.”
Through December 29, anyone can visit one of the participating Safeway stores to donate $10 that will go toward food items that will be donated to the local food banks. At each store, shoppers can remove a flyer from the tear pads located at the register and make a donation. Once collected, the food will be delivered to food banks for distribution to needy families.
“Safeway has a long-standing commitment to hunger relief. In these difficult times, we must come together to nourish our neighbors. We are proud to partner with NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48 to support the work of local food banks. Nourishing Neighbors is focused on raising funds to help feed people in need across the Bay Area,” said Brad Street, Division President of Safeway Northern California.
“We’re extremely grateful for NBC Bay Area and Safeway’s partnership as we work collectively with Bay Area Food Banks to respond to unprecedented need in our community,” said Suzan Bateson, executive director of Alameda County Community Food Bank. “The Bay Area and our six local food banks have never faced a challenge this profound. We anticipate the holiday season to be even more difficult, while we also prepare to stay in emergency response and recovery mode well into 2021. Generous partnerships and efforts like these are critical to our ability to keep our community nourished and healthy through this crisis.”
Last year, the food drive collected more than 400,000 bags at Safeway stores across Northern California, amounting to over three million meals for those in need.
Bay Area Food Banks:
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley - Diane Hayward
Alameda County Community Food Banks - Michael Altfest