By OPEC Staff

An annual scene has unfolded in the lobbies of the north and south buildings of CDCR Headquarters.  Empty green barrels, marked for the State Employees Food Drive, have been positioned outside the elevators.

In years past, those barrels have remained – for the most part – empty. This year, we hope CDCR employees at Headquarters will reach into their cupboards and pantries, or their pocketbooks and wallets, to prove that CDCR employees do care about their community.

The Food Drive runs Nov. 1 through Jan. 17.

Similar drives are conducted at various institutions during the holiday season.

The State Employees Food Drive provides a number of ways to contribute.  The barrels are for contributions of canned goods or packages of dry goods. The best food donations are non-perishable and highly nutritious, such as canned tuna, canned meats, soup, canned vegetables, canned fruit packed in water, peanut butter, beans, macaroni and cheese.

Opened packages, cans or bottles and home-canned foods cannot be accepted.

Baby food – dry or canned – and baby formula are always in demand, but the use-by date must be far enough in the future to allow for collection, distribution and allocation by FoodLink.

California Emergency FoodLink, commonly referred to as FoodLink, feeds more than 110,000 in the Sacramento area each month through more than 140 local partner agencies.

Last year, California State employees’ efforts garnered nearly 140 tons of found, including more than 40 tons of rice. In addition, almost $150,000 was donated to purchase additional food.

The Food Drive isn’t limited the food placed the lobby barrels.

On Nov. 19, a refrigerated FoodLink truck will be parked outside the CDFA office, 1220 N Street, so individual or departments can drop off donated turkeys. FoodLink representatives noted that turkeys are in high demand during the holiday season, and without these donations many families will not have meat in their holiday food boxes.

Another component of the Food Drive is the Rice Donation Program.  FoodLink has secured 81,000 pounds of rice to be made available for donation by State employees. For each donation of $19.50, a 50-pound bag of California-grown rice will be given to FoodLink.

As always, a monetary donation is always welcome. FoodLink representatives said each dollar donated is equivalent to 2 1/2 pounds of food. Monetary donations – cash or check – can be made in the Office of Public and Employee Communications, Room 113 South.  Ask for Michelle or Brian. A receipt will be available for tax purposes.

If an institution or other location is involved in a food drive or other charity efforts during the holidays this season, please send details and contact information to william.enfield@cdcr.ca.gov.