Sonoma Raceway Distributes More Than 4,400 Pounds of Food to North Bay Food Banks

Sonoma Raceway has taken the checkered flag on its 17th annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, distributing more than 4,400 pounds of non-perishable food to Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH) and the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB).

This year’s 4,486-pound donation brings the raceway’s 17 year total to more than 36 tons of non-perishable food items for bay area food banks. In addition, the raceway also distributed more than $2,500 in contributions from community members to the food banks.

FISH has helped 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. The food collected through the Sonoma Raceway Thanksgiving Food Drive is used for the organization’s Holiday Food Basket program. Last year, FISH distributed more than 450 holiday food baskets, touching the lives of 1,700 adults and children.

“This donation helps fill the boxes for the holiday food baskets,” said longtime FISH volunteer Louise Bielfelt.  “You’re not making a dent, you’re making a really big addition to the baskets.”

Sonoma Raceway was not alone in its efforts. It was joined in the food drive by RKA Motorcycle Luggage in Windsor, Falck Northern California/verihealth, Levy Restaurants, Pedroncelli Mobile Bottling LLC, Save Mart and Lucky Supermarkets, Sonoma Drift and Wednesday Night Drags participants and spectators, Sonoma Gourmet, Sonoma Market and Glen Ellen Village Market, Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority, Schell-Vista Fire and Transcendence Theater Company.

The Redwood Empire Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization serving the Northern California Coast, from Sonoma County to the Oregon border. As a result of the fires in the Sonoma County region, the REFB has seen an increased need for food and nutrition. In response, they provide critical food to those impacted by the fires and work to ensure that those who needed assistance before the fires are still able to access help.

In addition to the food and funds donations, nearly 40 Sonoma Raceway employees volunteered at the REFB warehouse in Santa Rosa on Nov. 16, processing more than 17,000 pounds of food, which equates to 14,750 meals.

“The entire team at the Redwood Empire Food Bank is inspired by the community spirit and tremendous support we receive from Sonoma Raceway,” said Jen Oberti, REFB corporate and community relations manager.  “In addition to hosting an annual food drive for the REFB, their employee volunteer day provided much needed help in our warehouse, where their team helped glean, sort and pack over food for our neighbors in need.”


For more information about Sonoma Raceway community events, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit