Holiday Meal Making

December 24, 2023 /

ExtraFood and Elk's Lodge Unite to Serve Holiday Meals to People Facing Hunger

ExtraFood and Elk's Lodge 1108 in San Rafael, a dedicated membership organization committed to supporting communities through charitable works, have come together this holiday season to create and distribute 680 turkey meals for food insecure neighbors in Marin and San Francisco.

In a collaborative effort, ExtraFood leveraged its expertise in food recovery, rescuing surplus food from various donors, while Elk's Lodge mobilized its incredible kitchen staff to prepare the meals with help from ExtraFood volunteers and staff. In the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas they distributed the holiday meals to people in need at sites like Homeward Bound and Canal School in Marin, and Family House in San Francisco. The partnership aimed to spread warmth and joy during the holiday season, focusing on bringing comfort to individuals and families facing food insecurity.

ExtraFood has been at the forefront of reducing wasted food and addressing hunger in the Bay Area by rescuing excess fresh food from local businesses and donors. By collaborating with Elk's Lodge and the use of their kitchen, staff, funding, and resources, they have expanded their impact and ensured that this surplus food is transformed into delicious and nutritious holiday meals for those who may otherwise go without. They will expand the partnership in 2024 to provide meals regularly throughout the year.

San Pedro Elementary School was a recipient of 180 meals for their program. The team at San Pedro Elementary School including, Co-Principals Kristina Hopkins and Ellie Marsh and Sanzuma Executive Director, Lori Davis say: “This food will go to our newcomer families so they can experience a joyful and healthy Holiday season. These are families who just arrived in the country, many of whom have been separated from family members, and arrived with this country with very few personal possessions. This donation helps the families to feel more comfortable and welcome in the San Rafael community this year.”

"We are proud of this partnership and the opportunity to give people something special, this is why community is so important. ExtraFood and the Elks combined our resources with the result being 680 people having a delicious holiday meal" said Will Dittmar, Executive Director at ExtraFood. "Through collective impact, we can alleviate hunger, prevent perfectly good food from being wasted, and spread joy in our community."

Elk's Lodge, known for its commitment to charitable endeavors supporting youth, veterans, special needs, and other community areas, enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to extend its outreach during the festive season.

Pete Crowley at Elk's Lodge, says: "The holiday season is a time for giving, and we are proud to join forces with ExtraFood to create meaningful change. We started this food giveaway program 3 years ago on Thanksgiving, which was my birthday, and I thought what better way to spend this day giving back in honor of everything this community has done for me this year with our new partnership with Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those facing food insecurity."

Another recipient shares their appreciation of the meals: “Family House serves as a home away from home for families needing to be at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. At this time of year your meals take on an extra significance as our families miss sharing meals at home with their family. Your meal has helped to bring together our residents and make their spirits bright” says Paul Goold, Director of Family Services at Family House in San Francisco.

The collaboration between ExtraFood and Elk's Lodge serves as a testament to the power of community partnerships and the positive impact that can be achieved when organizations with a shared mission come together. The joint effort exemplifies the spirit of generosity and collaboration that defines the holiday season.