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By Sharan Street
Published Nov 20, 2023

Image credit: Courtesy of Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz

Take It to the Bank

For Greeks and Romans, the concept was "philanthropia"—a term first used in 500 BCE by Aeschylus in Prometheus Bound. The ancient Egyptians called it Ma’at. African cultures embraced Ubuntu. Buddhists and Hindus practiced Dana. Jews practiced Tzedakah while Christians preached Caritas and Muslims honored Sadaqah.

It all adds up to the concept of giving to others.

From now until the end of the year, ’tis the season indeed. Look no further than these large fundraising efforts in our coverage area:

Give Back Tahoe 2023, spearheaded by the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, runs Nov. 28-Dec. 31.

Run to Feed the Hungry, the country’s largest Thanksgiving Day fun run, takes place Nov. 23.

Monterey County Gives, a collaboration between the Monterey County Weekly, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and the Community Foundation for Monterey County, runs through Dec. 31.

Santa Cruz Gives, presented by Good Times in partnership with the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, and with the support of various local nonprofits, runs through Dec. 31.

Food for Thought

This is also the harvest season, when we share bountiful meals around the holiday table. But the flip side of bounty is paucity, and that’s something far too many Californians experience. California Local’s Jonathan Vankin digs into this subject in an explainer on hunger and food insecurity—and the difference between them. He also explores some governmental and societal actions that would help eliminate hunger.

Hunger and Food Insecurity in California: What It Is, What to Do About It

Almost half of all low-income Black adults in California experience food insecurity.
Hunger and food insecurity have become persistent problems in California. With the world’s fifth-largest economy, what steps can we take to make sure that everyone has enough to eat?

Nourishing the Community

Despite California’s agricultural bounty, many households find that paychecks don’t cover the high cost of housing and other necessities—and they may find themselves becoming food insecure. When that happens, thankfully it’s possible for them to make a withdrawal from a local food bank. These nonprofit organizations are dedicated to safely storing millions of pounds of food that can be deployed to nutritional programs, food pantries and soup kitchens.

The oldest food bank was founded in 1967 in Arizona, but the second-oldest was born right in California. After more than 50 years, this Santa Cruz-based nonprofit is still going strong. In 1979 it became part of Second Harvest, a group of 13 food banks; since then, that network has grown into the national organization Feeding America.

Erica Padilla-Chavez, Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz’s new CEO, talks with California Local about the challenges she faced—floods, storm damage, and tough economic times—since coming into the job in 2022. She also describes how Santa Cruzans reacted when times got tough. Explaining that there’s “something magical” about the food bank, Padilla-Chavez asserts, “The community really embraces this place as their own.”

As we enjoy a little down time to celebrate a holiday that’s all about giving thanks, this is an opportune time to think about what nonprofit groups in our communities are doing something magical. And then embrace them as our own.

Setting the Table for Social Change

Second Harvest CEO Erica Padilla-Chavez (at right) with a group of local Rotary members who helped wrap Holiday Food & Fund Drive barrels.
Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County CEO Erica Padilla-Chavez looks at food insecurity as a symptom of an underlying disorder—one that can be cured.

California’s Oldest Food Bank Pays It Forward

Working together with many volunteers, this crew feeds 65,000 people in Santa Cruz County every month.
For the food-insecure community in Santa Cruz County, Second Harvest Food Bank feeds the need.

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Get to Know a Group

Golden Empire Council logo Golden Empire Council

The Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America pursues the mission of this national organization to “instill values in young people and prepare them to make ethical choices during their lifetimes, to take leadership roles as adults, and to reach their full potential.”

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Valhalla Tahoe Names New Executive Director

The board of directors named the nonprofit’s new leader: Meg Peart, formerly the human resources and grants manager at the Tahoe Resource Conservation District.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Heavenly, Northstar Delay Opening Date

Heavenly Mountain Resort and Northstar California Resort are delaying their opening date due to recent warm temperatures in the Tahoe region.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo Ricky Newberry Named VP, General Manager at Kirkwood Mountain Resort

Kirkwood Mountain Resort has announced Ricky Newberry as its new vice president and general manager. Newberry has served as VP of mountain operations at Heavenly Mountain Resort since 2021.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue Launches Citizen Engagement Tool

Starting Dec. 1, South Lake Tahoe residents will be the first in the Tahoe basin to use a new software tool to connect with their fire department. SLT Fire Chief Jim Drennan says, “We expect that this new solution, PowerEngage, …

Tahoe Guide logo Tahoe Winter Weather Outlook: El Niño Conditions Ripe for 2024

At the stroke of midnight on Sept. 30, the 2023 water year in California bit the dust. Now that the snow has mostly melted from that monster winter, it’s time to evaluate the sensational headlines and realize that it was …

Tahoe Guide logo Get Moving With Locally Made Skis, Boards

Local makers are busy custom-crafting skis and boards. Moment, Praxis, Coalition Snow and TahoeLab are designing products for fun on the mountain.

Tahoe Guide logo Tahoe’s Food Shopping Dilemma: Quality, Convenience & Prices

There are many ways to shop in Tahoe: chain supermarkets, natural food stores, farmers’ markets, CSA and farm boxes, and smaller specialty stores.

Tahoe Guide logo Michelle Parker Kicks Off Speaker Series

Alpenglow Sports’ 18th annual winter speaker series kicks off with local freeskier Michelle Parker on Nov. 30 with her show “A Change in Perspective,” which documents her father’s battle with dementia and Parkinson’s.

Tahoe Daily Tribune logo South Lake Tahoe Announces Inaugural Snowplow Contest

The city of South Lake Tahoe is launching “Name a Snowplow,” a contest to christen 10 snowplows that will be in service for the 2023/2024 winter season.

  California Local Pin Marker  

Recent Local News

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• EDHCSD Puts Up $10M for Golf Course Land

After years of negotiations, meetings and revisions, the El Dorado Hills Community Services District has reached a deal with Serrano Associates LLC to acquire 66 acres from the developer for $10 million.

(11/20/2023) → Mountain Democrat

• Family Winter Festival on Dec. 3 to Benefit Nest Family Resource

Since 2013, the Nest Family Resource has been dedicated to helping families thrive from fertility through parenthood in an accessible, inclusive, and compassionate environment.

(11/19/2023) → YubaNet

• Christmas Parade and More Planned in Cool

The Divide Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring Christmas in Cool on Dec. 3 with an alternate rain date of Dec. 10.

(11/16/2023) → Georgetown Gazette

• New Fund Offers a Helping Hand

Shelbi’s Helping Hand Fund, a new fund under the El Dorado Hills Area Foundation, was created to impact the lives of thousands into the future.

(11/15/2023) → Village Life

• New Exhibit Reaches Great Heights

Arts and Culture El Dorado’s newest exhibition at the Switchboard Gallery in Placerville showcases the history of climbing in the region.

(11/15/2023) → Mountain Democrat

• Loewen Investigation Continues

Four months after El Dorado Hills residents raised concerns about EDH Community Services District General Manager Kevin Loewen’s activities outside the district and his relationship with a CSD consultant, questions remain unanswered.

(11/14/2023) → Village Life

• Homeowners Share Holiday Spirit for Fundraiser

Assistance League Sierra Foothills announces the return of its seasonal fundraiser, Homes for the Holidays. Taking place Dec. 2-3, the tour features five festively decorated private homes, a raffle, and gifts, food and beverages for sale.

(11/14/2023) → Village Life
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Recent Statewide News

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• One of Largest Cannabis Distribution Companies in State Goes Up in Smoke

HERBL, one of California’s biggest cannabis companies, collapsed earlier this year. The company, which sold $700 million of cannabis last year, reportedly shorted the state $17 million in taxes.

(11/20/2023) → SFGate

• CA Lottery Director Gives Notice

Alva Johnson, director of the California State Lottery has given his two weeks’ notice. Johnson had arrived in 2019, a year after a whistleblower complaint helped spur a reckoning for the agency.

(11/20/2023) → Sacramento Bee

• Schwarzenegger Rules Out U.S. Senate Bid, Talks California

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger met Nov. 17 with Sacramento press corps members. He ruled out a U.S. Senate bid, saying the only thing he was interested in running for was president, while acknowledging he can’t do this because he was born in Austria.

(11/20/2023) → Sacramento Bee

• Oakland A’s Are Relocating to Las Vegas

Three years after the NFL's Raiders abandoned Oakland for Las Vegas, MLB's Oakland A's announced they're moving there too. The owners of the teams unanimously approved the MLB team’s move.

(11/17/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Joe Biden Touts Gavin Newsom as a Future President

During a trip to San Francisco, President Biden said that California’s governor “could have the job I’m looking for.” The remarks have fueled speculation about whether Newsom might step in to run instead of Biden in 2024.

(11/16/2023) → SFGate

• Paul Pelosi Attacker Convicted, Faces Life in Prison

David DePape had originally targeted Pelosi’s wife, Rep. Nancy Pelosi. He was convicted in federal court on Nov. 16 and still faces state charges.

(11/16/2023) → KQED

• State Debuting Mental Health App for Young People Next Year

The state will offer a free mental health app beginning Jan. 1 for people ages 13-25. It is currently being tested in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties.

(11/15/2023) → Sacramento Bee

• Natural Resources Agency Launches Plan to Increase Outdoor Access in California

State and local leaders gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate a new plan that will increase access to the outdoors for all Californians, regardless of who they are or where they live.

(11/15/2023) → YubaNet

• Backlash Politics: How Conservatives Have Success Rolling Back California Progressivism

Lacking power at the state level, conservatives are leaning into local governance to protest California’s progressive politics. The fight in Huntington Beach could be a harbinger of what’s to come.

(11/14/2023) → CalMatters

• It's About to Get Easier for California College Students to Study in Their Own Language

Assembly Bill 1096, taking effect Jan. 1, will let community colleges in the state provide courses in non-English languages, regardless if a student is also taking ESL. Previously, a student had to sign up for the latter to qualify for the former.

(11/13/2023) → KQED

• Barbara Lee’s Lagging Senate Bid Doesn’t Equal Another House Term

Longtime Rep. Barbara Lee trails fellow representative Katie Porter and former Rep. Adam Schiff in their race for U.S. Senate. Lee still expressed determination to not seek a 14th term in the House, saying she’s running for Senate.

(11/13/2023) → Sacramento Bee
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Government Announcements

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Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/19/2023)

Don't miss out on the 3rd Annual Festival of Winter Lights!

Image of County of El Dorado seal. County of El Dorado   (11/17/2023)

Board of Supervisors Appoints New Public Health Officer

Image of County of El Dorado seal. County of El Dorado   (11/16/2023)

First Human Death from West Nile Virus Reported This Year

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/10/2023)

City of South Lake Tahoe Announces Inaugural Name a Snowplow Contest

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/10/2023)

City of South Lake Tahoe Wins 2023 URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Award

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/07/2023)

Applications Being Accepted for Boards and Commissions

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/07/2023)

City of South Lake Tahoe and Optimist Club Hosts Turkey Trot on November 18

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/06/2023)

City of South Lake Tahoe Hosts Unity Walk on November 16 to Honor United Against Hate Week

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/04/2023)

Public Comment Period for Draft ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan

Image of City of South Lake Tahoe seal. City of South Lake Tahoe   (11/02/2023)

City Manager Appoints Zachary Thomas as Director of Development Services