Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

WIC Services in Contra Costa County available by phone

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Benefits Auto-Issued for the Month of March

On Thursday evening, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order for all Californians, except certain essential employees and residents acquiring necessities, such as food, prescriptions, and health care.

WIC provides healthy foods and support services to families.  If your income has been affected by recent events, and you are pregnant, recently had a baby, or have an infant or child under the age of five, you may be qualified to receive WIC services.  Applying is easy and quick.  You will receive your food benefits within a few days. You can apply online at cchealth.org/wic or call 1 (800) 414-4WIC.

WIC food benefits are considered an essential service. We will strive to continue to serve our community during this time under the governor’s and local Health Officer’s order.  Currently, we are providing all WIC services over the phone, including new enrollments.  To protect you and our WIC staff, all in-person appointments are suspended at this time.  Please stay at home.  The new WIC Card and WIC app make it easy for you to access your benefits electronically.

Community members should call their local WIC offices to enroll or certify, obtain future food benefits, reschedule, get breastfeeding help, or to get questions answered.

  • Concord & Crossroad WIC: (925) 646-5370
  • Brentwood WIC: (925) 513-6880
  • Pittsburg WIC: (925) 431-2460
  • San Pablo WIC: (510) 942-4000

Please note that California WIC started monthly auto issuance of benefits and extended some certifications for those who were eligible.  This means if you have a WIC card, you may already have your benefits pre-loaded.  You can check your California WIC app for benefits.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your local WIC program at 1 (800) 414-4WIC.  For further Covid-19-related information, please visit the county website at:  cchealth.org or CDPH website.

WIC and Contra Costa Health Services are committed to providing the individuals and communities we serve with high quality, comprehensive, community-directed care that is accessible to all and culturally and linguistically appropriate.

Please note that WIC is safe to use and does not affect immigration status for anyone who is currently in the U.S.  WIC is not considered a part of public charge.  We are here to help!

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Amid California shelter in place, White Pony Express continues to deliver rescued food to those in need

Friday, March 27th, 2020

By Steven Spraitzar, Public Relations, White Pony Express

White Pony Express (WPE), the Pleasant Hill food rescue group, announces that its programs are continuing to operate under Contra Costa County’s stringent requirements to contain the spread of COVID-19.   Specifically, WPE wishes to let the public know that:

  • White Pony Express remains OPEN for business. It continues to rescue nutritious fresh food from supermarkets and restaurants and deliver it free to those in need in our communities.
  • WPE’s School Food Pantry Program is continuing to deliver food to free-lunch schools in the county. However, because the schools have closed, this food is now being taken to alternative distribution sites where the food is being made available to the school families.
  • Volunteers are urgently needed as some volunteers wish to self-isolate.
  • Those who wish to volunteer can sign up at https://www.whiteponyexpress.org/covid-19-response-volunteer
  • Financial donations are also needed so WPE can continue providing nutritious food to hungry people. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so by visiting WPE’s website at https://www.whiteponyexpress.org/donate-funds.
  • WPE will make limited deliveries of needed clothing for the foreseeable future.
  • No donations of clothing will be accepted while the shelter-in-place order is in effect.
  • WPE has implemented stringent health guidelines in place to protect its volunteers. These protocols (hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, gloves, social distancing, etc.) are now a part of all WPE’s food and clothing operations.

ABOUT WPE:  WPE is a volunteer-powered 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Pleasant Hill, CA, which helps people move from the margins to the mainstream by providing free food and clothing in a loving and respectful manner.

Dr. Carol Weyland Conner founded WPE in September 2013 when she was troubled that in an area with such an abundance of food, many thousands were going hungry, while at the same time food retailers were throwing out huge quantities of healthy, fresh food. From this insight, the Food Rescue program was born. In a little over 6 years, WPE has rescued and delivered more than 10.5 million pounds of fresh, nutritious food, free of charge, that would otherwise go to waste. This is equivalent to 8,750,000 meals.

In 2014 the White Pony General Store was added to provide high quality clothing, toys, and books to the underserved in our communities—all free of charge. Since that time, the General Store has given away over 512,000 items to those in need.

For more on WPE, visit www.whiteponyexpress.org.

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White Pony Express continues food deliveries to families who use school food pantries

Monday, March 16th, 2020

Despite school closures

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, almost all Contra Costa County schools are now closed for the protection of students. Despite this, White Pony Express (WPE), the food rescue nonprofit based in Pleasant Hill, will continue to deliver food to students and families being served by WPE’s “School Food Pantry Program.” Under this Program, WPE has been delivering fresh, surplus food to eleven free-lunch schools in the county. Since the schools are now closed, WPE will deliver the food to a nearby community center or church where families can still obtain it. Many of these families rely on this food to make ends meet.

Need for School Food Pantry Programs

Over 100,000 students in Contra Costa County, or 40%, qualify for the free lunch program. The goal of the School Pantry Program is to help eliminate hunger and increase students’ academic success so they can contribute more fully to the communities in which they live. Helen Jones, WPE’s Food Rescue Operations Manager says, “The families we serve through this program have

demanding challenges throughout the month. Many of the participants receive food stamps which only cover a portion of a month’s worth of food. The food that WPE provides to the schools we serve not only provides nutrition. It provides hope.”

Currently, WPE’s eleven school pantries are set up in schools located in Antioch, Bay Point, Martinez, Pittsburg, Richmond, and San Pablo. This year WPE’s school pantries will deliver in excess of 415,000 meals of quality, nutritious food. WPE plans to open new pantries in 2020, but

continuing the Program will depend on finding sustainable funding.

Institution of New Health Protocols

Based upon guidelines issued by the state and county, WPE will be incorporating new health guidelines to support state and local efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. These protocols (hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, gloves, social distancing, etc.) will be made a part of all aspects of WPE’s food and clothing operations.

“It is important for the public and our volunteers to know that WPE will be implementing strict cleanliness standards so that our valuable programs can continue safely,” says Mary Brooks, WPE’s Executive Director. “And the families at the schools we are serving should know that WPE is preparing and delivering this surplus food in accordance with these high standards.”

ABOUT White Pony Express: WPE is a volunteer powered 501(c)3 organization headquartered in Pleasant Hill, CA, which helps people move from the margins to the mainstream by providing free food and clothing in a loving and respectful manner.

Dr. Carol Weyland Conner founded WPE in September 2013 when she was troubled that with such as an abundance of food, many thousands were going hungry, while at the same time food retailers were throwing out huge quantities of healthy, fresh food. Out of this insight, the Food Rescue program was born. In a little over 6 years, WPE has rescued and delivered more than 10.5 million pounds (equivalent to 8,750,000 meals) of fresh, nutritious food, free of charge, that would otherwise go to waste.

In 2014 the White Pony General Store was added to provide high quality clothing, toys, and books to the underserved in our communities – all free of charge. Since that time, the General Store has given away over 512,000 items to those in need.

If you’d like to contribute to WPE’s School Food Pantry Program or its other programs, you can do so by visiting WPE’s website at www.whiteponyexpress.org/donate-funds. Those who wish to volunteer can sign up at www.whiteponyexpress.org/volunteer.

For more on WPE, visit www.whiteponyexpress.org.

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California State Fair in Sacramento now open through July 28

Monday, July 15th, 2019

The 2019 California State Fair & Food Festival officially opened its gates Friday morning July 12 with big crowds, eagerly awaiting to get into Cal Expo in Sacramento.

“We’re so thrilled Opening Day was such a great success; it’s fun seeing so many people and families out having a good time, and of course, eating at our 100 food booths.” said Rick Pickering, Cal Expo General Manager and CEO. “We’ve worked hard to make this year’s State Fair the best yet – a fair for all Californians up and down the state. The food festival is just part of what we have in store for the next two and a half weeks.”

The California State Fair & Food Festival runs through July 28th.

For the schedule of daily events and concerts, as well as the list of food vendors, fairgoers are encouraged to visit the website at CaStateFair.org or download the Ca State Fair app where they can map out all of their adventures.

About the California State Fair 

The California State Fair is an international award-winning fair, receiving top honors at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions out of more than 1,100 fairs world-wide. The California State Fair is dedicated as a place to celebrate the best the state has to offer in agriculture, technology and the diversity of its people, traditions and trends that shape the Golden State’s future. We invite you to join us for the 166th California State Fair, July 12-28, 2019.

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New Swirls Frozen Yogurt shop opens at Bluerock Center in Antioch

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

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Swirls Frozen Yogurt shop to hold Grand Opening of their new location in Antioch, Friday, Oct. 27

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

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