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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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From Our Media Allies

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To encourage area residents to support local businesses this holiday season, Davis Downtown will give some shoppers a prize for doing so.

West Sacramento News Ledger logo Absolute Compassion Hospice Offers Care for Families

For ten years and counting, Absolute Compassion Hospice has provided hospice care in the greater Sacramento area, serving Sacramento, Yolo abd San Joaquin counties.

West Sacramento News Ledger logo Applications Available for Vacant Seats on West Sacramento City Commissions

The following seats are open on city commissions: one vacant seat on the Boards of Appeals; one vacant seat on the Environment and Utilities Commission; and one vacant seat for the Parks, Recreation & Intergenerational Services Commission. Commissions work with …

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Recent Local News

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• United Way Teams with PNC to Expand Yolo County Early Childhood Book Program

One thousand more Yolo County children will receive a free book every month from birth through age five from United Way California Capital Region, which manages the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Yolo County.

(11/16/2023) → Daily Democrat

• Yolo County Supervisors Approve Phasing Construction for County Road 98 Project

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors received an update on the second phase of the County Road 98 Bike Improvement and Safety Project. Phase two of the project extends improvements southward.

(11/16/2023) → Daily Democrat

• California’s Long and Costly Battle for Cameras in Courtrooms

For years police departments and police unions bitterly resisted body-worn cameras. As the technology was implemented, it revealed negatives about cop culture. Court watchdogs assert a similar culture exists in public courtrooms.

(11/16/2023) → Davis Vanguard

• Barbershops in Sacramento Host Free Therapy Sessions for Black Men

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(11/16/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Nation’s First Commercial Direct Air Capture Facility Has Opened in Tracy

From the outside, it’s unremarkable: A metallic building alongside a quiet road on the outskirts of Tracy. But on its opening day, people from all over the country traveled to see it.

(11/15/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• Sprouts Farmers Market Opens in Woodland

Woodland’s first Sprouts Farmers Market will hold a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony Nov. 17 welcoming guests to enjoy games, samples, prizes, gifts and more.

(11/15/2023) → Daily Democrat

• ‘Defiance for Science’: Historic California State Scientist Strike Comes to Sacramento Streets

A stream of scientists wearing neon green shirts flowed down the H Street sidewalk in downtown Sacramento, circling the block and shouting chants like “No contract! No work!”

(11/15/2023) → CapPublicRadio

• EV Charger Unveiled at Library

Yolo County has an ambitious goal to achieve net negative carbon emissions by 2030. One step toward that target was taken with the unveiling of a new electric vehicle charging station at the Stephens Branch Library in Davis.

(11/14/2023) → Read the full Davis Enterprise report
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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.

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• 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.

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• Oakland A’s Are Relocating to Las Vegas

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• Joe Biden Touts Gavin Newsom as a Future President

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(11/16/2023) → SFGate

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(11/16/2023) → KQED

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(11/15/2023) → Sacramento Bee

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

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(11/15/2023) → YubaNet

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

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

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

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Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/20/2023)
Scene Newsletter
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/17/2023)
Caltrans Seeks Comment on Draft EIR Interstate 80 Toll Express Lanes Project
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (11/16/2023)
Shop Small, Eat Local This Holiday Season
Support your favorite Woodland businesses on Small Business Saturday, November 25
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (11/14/2023)
Proposals Sought for Landscape Maintenance
RFP closes on December 5
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (11/09/2023)
Community Services Inviting Proposals for Landscape Maintenance
The City of Woodland Community Services Department is inviting proposals for Landscape Maintenance opportunities in Woodland.
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/08/2023)
Sycamore Park Path Paving Set for Two Phases Starting Nov. 18
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/08/2023)
Howat Ranch Prescribed Burn Scheduled for Nov. 13
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/06/2023)
City Hosts Candlelight Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 30
Image of City of Woodland seal. City of Woodland   (11/03/2023)
Rainy Season on the Way; Sandbags Available
The City will offer sand at three locations throughout town
Image of City of Davis seal. City of Davis   (11/03/2023)
Annual Pavement Improvement Project Multi-Use Path Work Week of Nov. 6
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Upcoming Government Meetings

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Event sponsor logo City of Woodland / City Council
Tuesday November 21 2023   6:00 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Winters / City Council & Planning Commission Meetings
Tuesday November 21 2023   6:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Davis / City Council
Tuesday November 21 2023   6:30 PM
Event sponsor logo City of Woodland / Parks & Recreation Commission
Monday November 27 2023   6:30 PM