The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) is once again hosting the California State Employees Food Drive (SEFD). The 2017 drive began on November 6 and goes through the holiday season until January 12. Nearly 100 state agencies in the Sacramento region participate in this drive that has been going on for over 25 years. Each participating agency elects a coordinator to motivate employees with ideas and events to encourage donations. Agencies compete with their own individual departments as well as with the other agencies in town, making for a fun way to feed families and contribute to their community. Each agency gets food drive credit for not only food donated to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS), but also Run to Feed the Hungry registrations, turkeys donated at SFBFS Turkey Drive, food donations outside of Sacramento County and, of course, financial donations. Each dollar donated is converted to 2.5 pounds of food.
Some special events held so far this year are the pumpkins and potatoes one-day drive held by both the Franchise Tax Board and CalPERS, a photo exhibit held by California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), a non-profit multicultural fair held by the Department of Technology and turkey drives held by 49 agencies. Upcoming events include a hams and yams one-day drive, a fresh produce drive, bake sales, potlucks and holiday parties. All of these events are large undertakings and involve a lot of time and planning to make them successful. State Employees rise to the occasion and come together to help those in need throughout Sacramento County.
SFBFS became the beneficiary of the SEFD drive in 2014. Since then, the donation totals have increased year after year. More agencies are keeping their coordinators for more than one year, increasing donations with prior knowledge, experience and continuity. Many employees prefer to donate financially and SFBFS uses those funds to buy the most nutritious, cost effective and requested foods for our Partner Agencies.
Last year, SEFD brought in a total of 764,807 pounds of food and the goal this year is 800,000 pounds. Since we are tracking well ahead of last year at this time, it won’t be a surprise when the goal is met. The turkey drive has already broken last year’s record by over 1,000 turkeys coming in with 4,113 turkeys from State Employees alone! Those turkeys fed over 16,000 people during the Thanksgiving holiday which makes all of the hard work that everyone is doing well worth the effort.
If you see a State Employee on the street, give them a high five and a smile!
By: Peggy Marshall
Donation Drive Coordinator