Sonoma Raceway kicks off its season of giving with the 17th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, which runs through Nov. 19.
Race fans and community members can donate at several North Bay locations, and all food collected through the drive will be distributed to two Sonoma County food banks: Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa
Sonoma Raceway’s annual food drive has generated nearly 34 tons of food over the past 16 years, including more than 1,600 pounds in 2016.
New for this year, non-perishable food items can be brought to the Sonoma Valley Fire Department, as well as the Schell-Vista Fire Department. In addition, Sonoma Raceway will collect both food and new, unwrapped toys at Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority’s Open House and pancake breakfast at the Albert C. Mazza Fire Station on Sunday, Nov. 12, between 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Non-perishable food items for the Sonoma Raceway Thanksgiving Food Drive can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Sonoma Raceway (at Gate 1 or the main office), 29355 Arnold Dr., 800-870-RACE (7223), www.SonomaRaceway.com.
- Sonoma Valley Fire & Rescue Authority, 630 2nd Street West, Sonoma. (707) 996-2102, www.svfra.org.
- Schell-Vista Fire Station, 22950 Broadway, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 938-2633, www.schellvistafire.com
- Sonoma Market, 500 West Napa Street, Sonoma, 707-996-3411, www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
- Glen Ellen Village Market, 13751 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen, 707-996-6728, www.sonoma-glenellenmkt.com
- RKA, 7694 Bell Road, Windsor, (707) 836-7659, www.rka-luggage.com.
- Food items or donations can also be mailed to the raceway: Jen Imbimbo, 29355 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA, 95476.
RKA Motorcycle Luggage will continue its annual tradition of hosting a motorcycle group ride on Saturday, Nov. 11, which will include a pit stop at Sonoma Raceway to drop off collected food items and take a few laps around the Sonoma Raceway road course. For more information and to sign up for the ride, visit www.rka-luggage.com and click on the event schedule tab.
In addition to its regularly scheduled food distribution, REFB is distributing thousands of pounds of food to evacuation centers, shelters and other community resources helping fire victims. The food bank has also implemented Station 3990, a drive-through, free grocery distribution at its warehouse and select other locations to help those impacted by the fires.
In the first 12 days after the fires began, REFB distributed 950,000 pounds of food: 114,000 pounds went to partner organizations, 281,000 pounds was distributed through REFB programs and a staggering 533,000 pounds (57%) was moved through Station 3990, car load by car load. The donations poured in during the first two weeks after the fires but are now beginning to dwindle. However, the number of people turning to them for help continues to increase. The capacity to continue to provide emergency food to the fire victims depends on donations to food and funds drives.
FISH (www.friendsinsonomahelping.org) has been helping Sonoma Valley residents in times of need since 1970 and provides not only food, but clothing, transportation and emergency rental assistance to Sonoma Valley residents in need. FISH has been a beneficiary of the raceway’s food drive since its inception in 2001.