A few dozen members of the local business community gathered at the Elk Grove Food Bank’s warehouse at Dino Drive on Nov. 19 to toast the beginning of the Thanksgiving season in Elk Grove.

The Citizen and the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce hosted their 10th annual holiday mixer there to help support the food bank and their work to serve community members in need.

Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick, a longtime supporter of the food bank’s work, said that Thanksgiving is special to him since he was born on the holiday.

“Nothing is better than to give to someone who is having a tougher time than you are,” he said.

Several attendees donated food as well as cash to the food bank. The nonprofit’s staff that week was preparing for their annual Turkey Drive where they gave frozen turkeys and Thanksgiving trimmings to recipients outside Elk Grove City Hall on Nov. 23.

Valerie Erwin, an advisory board member for the food bank, told the crowd at the Nov. 19 party that the 45-year-old nonprofit serves nearly 6,000 people a month.

“These are your neighbors, this is your grandmother, these are the kids down the street,” she said about the people they serve.

Erwin also credited the donated food that filled up the nonprofit’s warehouse to the support of the Elk Grove community.

“If it hadn’t been for the amazing generosity of our community and our schools, the shelves – I’m not exaggerating – would be bare,” she said.

David Herburger, the Citizen’s owner/publisher, noted the Elk Grove community’s legacy of charity work when he spoke during the holiday mixer.

“We come together individually and collectively to make Elk Grove probably the best kept secret in Sacramento County,” he said.

Erwin told the crowd about their various services that include assistance for veterans and a mobile distribution service for supplying food to senior citizens.  

“We help in every single way that we can get,” she said. “If you’re homeless – nobody blinks, nobody asks questions. We feed you.”

The food bank is currently seeking a permanent home in Elk Grove after they received $4 million in state funds for that project. They also have an opening for a warehouse manager for their facility.

For more information on the Elk Grove Food Bank, call (916) 685-8453 or visit www.ElkGroveFoodBank.org. They are located at 9820 Dino Drive.