Martinez community works together to scare away hunger

Community News

Food Bank Truck and VolunteersCommunity members throughout the greater Concord, California, area will be giving out a lot more than candy this Halloween. They’ll be providing 17,000 pounds of food for families in need.

That’s the goal, at least. The 8th annual Scare Away Hunger event, benefiting the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, aims to best its number from last year, when 16,000 pounds of food were collected on Halloween night.

Student and teacher volunteers from Concord High School, along with volunteer employees from MPC’s Martinez Refinery, are joining forces to go door-to-door, trick or treating for food and cash donations. The food will be collected in bags that volunteers are placing on doorsteps and porches several days before.

Food and cash donations also will be received directly at Concord High School on Halloween night, where the total food collection will be weighed.

“It’s an inspiration to see teams of students work closely and competitively alongside our employees for the benefit of hungry families in our communities,” said Tom Lu, Martinez Refinery Manager.

Twenty-nine percent of the population in Contra Costa and Solano counties rely on the Food Bank for at least half of their food. And about one in eight people turn to the Food Bank for emergency and supplemental food. That amounts to about 180,000 people supported every month.

“People shouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from,” said Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank. “It makes a difference … when businesses like Marathon Petroleum join with the community in innovative ways to collect food.”

The Food Bank is as efficient as possible with donations. For every dollar donated, it can provide enough food for two meals. Ninety-six cents of every dollar goes directly to food programs.

In addition to the community collection efforts, the Martinez Refinery also is donating $5,000 to the Food Bank.