New WinCo Foods Opens on Watt Avenue in September

Source: Winco Foods  |  2016-09-02

The new WinCo Foods building is approximately 100,000 square feet and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Employee owned WinCo Foods has announced the opening of its newest California supermarket, its 36th in the state and its 110th location overall, on September 3, 2016 at 2300 Watt Avenue in Sacramento.

Known primarily for being the “Supermarket Low Price Leader,” the new WinCo Foods building is approximately 100,000 square feet and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will be staffed by approximately 170 employees from the surrounding community. The store will contain WinCo’s trademark “Wall of Values” at the entrance, as well as a wide assortment of grocery items along with a full produce section and meat, deli, bakery and bulk foods departments.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing the residents of Sacramento their first WinCo,” said a company spokesperson. “By blending the absolute lowest prices, the best products and world class customer service, we think the people of Sacramento will quickly fall in love with WinCo and see why we’re one of the fastest growing grocers in the country.”

Another trademark aspect of WinCo supermarkets is the 700+ item bulk foods department. Selections in the bulk foods department can be purchased in whatever quantities the customer desires and includes a multitude of rice varieties, dried beans, pastas, baking ingredients, cereals, snacks, candies and pet foods.

“Our customers love that they can buy as little or as much as they like,” added WinCo’s spokesperson. “Whether it’s two teaspoons of a specific spice or a 50-pound sack of flour. On top of all this, we also carry a variety of organic, gluten-free and natural food items, all clearly labeled.”

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Bera Urges FDA to Take Action in Response to EpiPen Prices

Source: Office of Ami Bera  |  2016-09-01

Congressman Bera has previously urged the FDA to regulate the prices of life-saving drugs.

EpiPens Cost Upwards of $600 for a Single Prescription

On August 25th, 2016, Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (CA-7) called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to take immediate action to make lower cost alternatives available in response to exorbitantly priced EpiPens from the drug manufacturer Mylan. Currently, EpiPens have a virtual monopoly on the market for emergency allergy attack treatment. In the letter, Congressman Bera asks the FDA to address processes that may limit competition and allow some companies to drastically increase prices. Today, Mylan announced they would offer additional coupons for EpiPens, but have not addressed the underlying cost.

“As a doctor, I know that in the case of an allergic reaction no time can be wasted and we can’t allow anything to stand in the way of immediate access to epinephrine.” said Bera. “$600 for an EpiPen is outrageous, and Mylan must be held accountable for their pricing on a life-saving drug. That’s why I’m calling on the FDA to make sure that families have other more affordable and safe options to EpiPens so that no one needs to make a choice between paying their bills or having a life-saving drug.”

Congressman Bera has previously urged the FDA to regulate the prices of life-saving drugs. He leads the push to ensure that drug companies are not able to charge excessive prices for drugs, like in the case of Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals.

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Food Locker Receives Grant for New Truck

Source: Ashley Stidham, City of Rancho Cordova  |  2016-08-05

At the August 1 City Council meeting, the Rancho Cordova City Council presented checks to five local organizations who received grants from the City’s Community Enhancement Fund. The Cordova Community Food Locker received a grant for $40,784.87 to purchase this new box truck! The truck will be used to collect and deliver emergency food supplies to the hungry, including families and children, in the City of Rancho Cordova. Pictured left to right: Council Member Robert McGarvey, Deacon Walter J. Little, Council Member Dan Skoglund, Vice Mayor Donald Terry, Council Member Linda Budge, and Gary Greeson.

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Here is a Date Night Idea

By Alona Thomas  |  2016-07-21

Chef Metha of Kanpai Sushi Restaurant (left). The House of Gekkeikan Sake offers an exotic opportunity to share in the world of Sake along with a Sushi making class every other month at the brewery in Folsom.

Yep, this can be a fun, and entertaining evening for you and your significant other, or possibly a chance just to get to know someone better. This is also a great idea for a group that would like to have shared time with hands on experience or just a bonding time with your daughter-in-law. The House of Gekkeikan Sake offers an exotic opportunity to share in the world of Sake along with a Sushi making class every other month at the brewery in Folsom.

The tasting room is all set up with all the tools you need, except you must bring a sharp knife. A welcome is extended by the tasting room representative with an invitation to take part in a buffet before beginning.  It begins with an appetizer of Mango Tequila Sauce over cream cheese and crackers, Caesar Salad, Pineapple Sake Teriyaki meatballs, Meyers Lemon Rosemary sausages and cookies for dessert. Their sauce source is the excellent products from Earth & Vine*. The first tasting of Sake begins with the award winning Black & Gold, but this can depend on the weather. My class was in March so this was served warm, but in the summer months they follow the Japanese tradition serving cold Sake which is more fruity in nature.

Our teacher is Chef Metha of Kanpai Sushi Restaurant. He begins by telling us exactly how to hold the rice and place it on the Nori seaweed sheets. We are split into small groups and receive instruction on creating the perfect California Roll using the correct technique including the moistening of our fingers for working the rice. We return to our seats and have the all the ingredients to make our first roll, which is a practice run, preparing us for the Sushi competition later. While other class members are receiving their instruction we sample Haiku a light medium dry wine that is served chilled and then Suzaku, considered premium sake.

At this point I have made my practice California Roll and ate most of it while enjoying the tastings. We now enter the competition phase and have an opportunity to show off our skill. I am feeling pretty confident and make the second roll along with a pour of Zipang, a sparkling sake. This is bright and light which would complement a wide array of appetizers. However, my beautiful rolls plated with a ginger flower and slivers of cucumber did not even figure into the final two. There was lots of laughter with winners declared for both gals and guys. Our second lesson was a hand roll. Right up front, this technique was beyond my capabilities, but others seemed capable. Again we could practice and then have a second chance with winners receiving prizes. We finished our tasting with two plum wines Kobai, light and sweet, with a suggestion to be paired with blue cheese and Plum Gekkeikan, which was very good. Raffle drawings for great prizes completed the lesson.

It really was a very enjoyable and educational evening with wonderful hosts. The class cost was $35.00. With my new rice cooker, I have made sushi twice at home, but certainly have to practice a bit more.

*Earth & Vine story in April Gold River Messenger. Alona’s hobbies are food and delicious times.

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Gov. Brown Approves $5M for California Nutrition Incentives Act

Source: Ecology Center  |  2016-07-13

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.

After three years of tireless advocacy, the healthy food incentive program Market Match got a boost yesterday as Governor Jerry Brown approved a state budget that includes $5 million for the California Nutrition Incentives Act. The Act is modeled after Market Match, which is increasing access to fresh produce among Californians who are struggling to feed their families, while giving an economic boost to the state’s embattled farm communities.

The $5 million in state funds will attract federal matching dollars through the USDA’s Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program (FINI) and double the impact of the state’s investment.

A broad coalition of over 200 non-profit organizations and individuals including Roots of Change, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, American Heart Association, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Hunger Action Los Angeles and the Ecology Center, which administers Market Match statewide, worked over a three-year period to secure the funding. In 2014, the coalition’s first attempt didn’t make it out of the appropriations committee. Last year, the legislature passed the California Nutrition Incentives Act, which Gov. Brown signed, but he then axed the $2.5 million in funding that the legislature proposed for the program.

“With this funding, the state of California has put its money where its mouth is in terms of supporting healthy eating for low-income families,” says Ecology Center Executive Director Martin Bourque. “The demand for Market Match has consistently outstripped the supply of funds. The additional $5 million will allow us to expand the program towards our goal of offering Market Match at every farmers’ market in the state,” he said.

Established in 2009, by Roots of Change, Market Match works by providing CalFresh customers with matching funds when they spend their CalFresh benefits (i.e. food stamps) on fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. So a shopper who spends $10 of CalFresh benefits at the farmers’ market gets an extra $10 to spend on fresh produce. Participants in the program, both small farmers and low-income shoppers, strongly support the program.

Among low-income customers, 70% report that they are buying more fruits and vegetable, and nearly 80% report that their family's health has improved. 81% of farmers report increased sales and 74% report increased income, thanks to Market Match.

Founded in 1969, the Ecology Center is a nonprofit organization located in Berkeley, California that is actively working to create and promote an alternative food system based on the values of environmental protection, justice, and access to healthy, sustainably produced food for all.

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Recalls Made on Protein Drinks from Sacramento Facility Due to Premature Spoilage

Source: U.S. Food & Drug Administration  |  2016-07-06

Special Health Release

Out of an abundance of caution and with an emphasis on its customers' wellness and safety, HP Hood LLC is voluntarily recalling certain code dates of protein drinks from its Sacramento, CA, facility, due to the potential for premature product spoilage.

HP Hood is voluntarily recalling specific products after identifying a possible packaging defect that may result in product spoilage during transport and handling. Consumers may notice that, in some cases, the packaging is bloated and product inside may have an off taste or odor. Consumers should not use the product, since it does not meet its high quality standards.

The recalled products are limited to plastic bottles of 14 oz. and 10 oz. MUSCLE MILK® Genuine, MUSCLE MILK® Pro Series, MUSCLE MILK® 100 Calorie, with Best By dates of November 21, 2016 through May 23, 2017, with an "HS" in the code date. This recall applies only to the products listed below. The Best By and code dates are printed on the top of the lid of single serve bottles.

No confirmed reports have been received of any consumer illness nor injuries to date.

If a consumer has any of the MUSCLE MILK® products listed, they should return it to the store where they were purchased for an exchange, or call Customer Relations at 1-877-446-7635 Monday – Thursday 7:45 AM – 4:00 PM CST or Friday 7:45 AM – 2:45 PM CST.

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Charity Begins at Home

Story and Photo by Shelly Lembke  |  2016-06-22

Cordova Community Food Locker Manager Gregg B. Huestis (left) receives a donation check from event planner Randall Wilhite (right).

Rancho Cordovan Randall Wilhite knows a thing or two about his hometown and what makes it tick. One of those things is the Cordova Community Food Locker.  Operating from St. John Vianney Catholic Church, the Food Locker works hard year round to distribute its goods to those who otherwise would go hungry. Wilhite recently put together a charity event to benefit the Food Locker, resulting in donations of nearly $600.

The first annual “BBQ & Brews” free event featured products from local businesses, grocers, breweries and more. Wilhite and his brother Gerald even participated in a friendly competitive barbeque cook-off. A diplomatic tie resulted, with Gerald receiving honors for best cooking and Randall snagging kudos for his homemade family recipe barbeque sauce.

The Wilhite family has been a local institution for decades, well known for producing stellar athletes who played in local sports such as baseball, football and track before going on to play for colleges and even professional teams, but they have remained true to their Rancho Cordova roots.

Wilhite credits his mother, Gene, a long-time Rancho resident for his upbringing and nurturing his strong family ties and desire to do good works. Now a veteran professional events planner, Wilhite makes sure he incorporates charitable actions into his events in order to give back to the community. He already is at work on upcoming events such as the Rancho Cordova Taste Festival.

“This is about culinary diversity,” said Wilhite. “It’s about showcasing what’s in the City.” Area chefs from food trucks to restaurants will be offering samples of their best products. The event will feature appearances by local personalities, live music and more. Admission to the public is free and taste tickets will be available for purchase.

As for the funds raised for the Cordova Community Food Locker, they will likely go toward meeting the group’s holiday giveaway, a period of great local demand. To make or receive donations, contact them directly at (916) 364-8973. For information on attending or participating in the June 3 Rancho Cordova Taste Festival, contact Randall Wilhite at (916) 765-5299 or

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