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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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Community Emergency Response Volunteers logo Community Emergency Response Volunteers

Community Emergency Response Volunteers of the Monterey Peninsula's mission is “to support local CERT programs, build public awareness about emergency preparedness, and promote the community's capacity to respond to natural disasters and man-made emergencies.”

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From Our Media Allies

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Monterey County Weekly logo Gonzales Youth Council Shows the Power of Intergenerational Collaboration

For a Monterey County Weekly cover story, Celia Jiménez spoke with several teenagers about the work they’ve done in their communities.

Monterey County Weekly logo Joby Aviation Wins $9.8 Million Grant, Locking in Commitment to Expand

Marina did not get the big Joby Aviation prize of a manufacturing facility—that went to Ohio—but a decision from the California Competes grant program secures bigger footprint for Joby in Marina.

Monterey County Weekly logo Pacific Grove Council Approves Exploring a Temporary Skatepark Solution

A majority of the Pacific Grove City Council in April all but killed the idea of a permanent skatepark in the town with a 5-2 vote, bowing to pressure by residents who feared such a facility would bring noise.

King City Rustler logo Application Deadline Nears for McDonald’s Golden Grants Program

Applications will close Nov. 30 for the 2023 McDonald’s Golden Grants program benefitting education and nonprofits in the various areas, including Salinas-Monterey and the Central Coast, that better the lives of children ages 5 through 18.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo Monterey County Sheriff’s Office Details Military Equipment Use

Monterey County Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval Nov. 7 for an updated military equipment use policy from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and received a report on the use of such equipment in part of 2022.

Monterey County Weekly logo Field Is Shaping Up for Board of Supervisors Primary

The candidate filing period for the 2024 primary elections only opened Nov. 13, but local voters already have a sense of who will be running to represent them on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

Salinas Valley Tribune logo Soledad Service Dog Wins Award for Providing Comfort to Army Veteran

Operation Freedom Paws, a California-based service dog training organization, provides the tools and training to help vets battle inner turmoil.

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Recent Local News

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• NOAA Reports Over 1 Million Pieces of Trash Collected Along Monterey Bay Shoreline

Food wrappers. Plastic bottle caps. Cigarette butts. These are just a few of the more than 1 million items collected by over 37,000 volunteers along the shores of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary between 2017 and 2021.

(11/20/2023) → Monterey Herald

• Point Pinos: ‘One of the Greatest Avian Crossroads in the World’

With a plentiful food supply, Monterey Bay is a coveted area for both local and migratory birds.

(11/18/2023) → Monterey Herald

• Monterey Wine Trail Rename, Rebrand Comes Amid Exceptional Harvest

The 31-mile-long wine trail along River, Foothill, and Los Coches roads in the Salinas Valley is undergoing a name change and rebrand just as wineries along the route are reaping the fruits of an exceptional wine-growing season.

(11/17/2023) → Monterey Herald

• BSLT, Esselen Tribe of Monterey County to Pursue Co-management of Basin Ranch

After its acquisition of the 5,105-acre Basin Ranch, the Big Sur Land Trust is in pre-planning stages for its first co-management agreement with the Esselen Tribe of Monterey County.
The acquisition creates a new nature preserve that will protect a critical wildlife corridor for a variety of vulnerable species.

(11/17/2023) → Monterey Herald

• Carmel Unified School District Makes Changes to Title IX Policies

After a year of administrative changes and controversy over sexual harassment and assault allegations, Carmel Unified School District leaders have taken steps toward change in an effort to restore the community’s trust.

(11/17/2023) → Monterey Herald

• Community Bridges Assists Pajaro Families Facing Eviction

In the wake of approximately 24 families facing evictions from a Pajaro apartment complex as the property's owners prepare to work through violations cited by Monterey County, Watsonville-based nonprofit Community Bridges has intervened to assist those families.

(11/16/2023) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Nicolás Cocina de Herencia Finally Opens in Carmel

It was roughly 30 months ago when Edible reported Villa Azteca was adding an ambitious sibling on Carmel Plaza’s ground floor next to Alvarado Street Brewery & Bistro.

(11/14/2023) → Edible Monterey Bay
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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 County of Monterey seal. County of Monterey   (11/17/2023)

Trufresh Expands Recall to Include Additional Order Numbers of Fresh Cantaloupe Because of Possible Health Risk Due to Salmonella
Image of County of Monterey seal. County of Monterey   (11/17/2023)

Recall of Multiple Brands of Dry Dog, Dry Cat, and Catfish Food Due to Potential Salmonella Health Risk
Image of City of Marina seal. City of Marina   (11/16/2023)

Mobile Food Vending Survey Results Are In!

Image of City of Seaside seal. City of Seaside   (11/16/2023)

11/16 COUNCIL MEETING ITEM POSTPONED! Fireworks Curfew Ordinance

Image of County of Monterey seal. County of Monterey   (11/15/2023)

Monterey County Public Health Bureau Awarded Grant for Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program from the Office of Traffic Safety

Monterey County Public Health Bureau is the recipient of a $250,262 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to support its Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program. This grant will promote safe practices for pedestrians and bicyclists...
Image of City of Monterey seal. City of Monterey   (11/15/2023)

Illegal Firearms Arrest

Image of City of Marina seal. City of Marina   (11/14/2023)

City of Marina Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Marina Community Thanksgiving Dinner
Image of City of Monterey seal. City of Monterey   (11/14/2023)

Strong-Arm Robbery Arrest

Image of City of Seaside seal. City of Seaside   (11/13/2023)

Sand Bag Filling Station

In advance of the predicted weather event this week, the City of Seaside has set up a sand bag filling station for residents at the Seaside Fire Station.
Image of City of Seaside seal. City of Seaside   (11/10/2023)

Inclement Weather Notice