Brews in the Burbs is Coming to Sunrise MarketPlace

By Julie DePrada-Schott, Sunrise MarketPlace  |  2019-06-06

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CA (MPG) - Sunrise MarketPlace in partnership with the Rotary Club of Citrus Heights presents Brews in the Burbs. On Saturday, June 8, 2019, Sunrise MarketPlace will transform the Sunrise Mall parking lot into a backyard hangout to showcase the best Craft Beer, Home Brewer, and Wine in the Northern California area. This inaugural event will feature craft beer tastings, live music, food trucks, backyard games and YOU!

A few participating breweries include Red Bus Brewing, River City Brewing, Tilted Mash Brewing, and Alaro Brewing. Brews in the Burbs will also feature a Home Brewers Tasting Section and Beer Alternatives tastings. For a complete list of vendors and sponsor, visit

VIP Admission ticket price is $50 pre-sale and $60 day of (if available). Ticket includes entry into the event starting at 4 pm, access to the VIP lounge which will feature food samplings from Olive Garden, Dos Coyotes, Wing Stop and Benihana, a larger tasting glass and unlimited tastings.

General Admission tickets prices are $35 pre-sale and $45 day of the event. Ticket includes entry into the event starting at 5 pm, a tasting glass and unlimited tastings.

Designated Driver tickets are available for $20 and includes $5.00 food voucher at any food truck and unlimited soda/water. Designated Drivers can enter the event early with another person who has early entry tickets. Designated driver tickets are only available for purchase in advance and before the event is sold out.

The purchase of your ticket will help us support the Rotary Club of Citrus Heights, whose mission is to help children from Elementary through High School with education and literacy projects. Proceeds from Brews in the Burbs will benefit children and families of Citrus Heights and surrounding areas.

A special thanks to Stones Gambling Hall and Beers in Sac, in being instrumental in helping us create an amazing Brews in the Burbs.

About Sunrise MarketPlace                                                                                 

Sunrise MarketPlace is a collection of more than 400 retailers, restaurants, and professional businesses located in the heart of Citrus Heights, CA. The Shopping and Business Improvement District, located along Sunrise Boulevard between Arcadia Drive (just north of Greenback Lane) and Madison Avenue, and along Greenback Lane between Birdcage Street and Fair Oaks Boulevard. The District was created in 1999 to advance the commercial vitality of the business corridor.  For more information visit,, and


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Volunteers Pack 75,000 Meals to Feed the Hungry

Story and photos by Shaunna Boyd  |  2019-05-22

Rotary members stack boxes of packaged meals onto a shipping pallet for distribution to developing countries. Photo by Shaunna Boyd

SACRAMENTO REGION, CA (MPG) - Rotary District 5180 has 41 clubs in the Sacramento Region that collaborated on a district-wide meal-packaging event on May 17 at Rusch Park Community Center in Citrus Heights. More than 250 volunteers worked in shifts to bag over 75,000 meals, which will be distributed by Rise Against Hunger, a non-profit international hunger relief organization.

Music blasted through the gymnasium as hundreds of volunteers enthusiastically worked their stations, filling buckets with ingredients, bagging, sealing, packing the finished meals into boxes, and stacking boxes onto shipping pallets. Youth exchange students from Rotary International, players from the Casa Robles High School football team, members of local churches, and rotary members from throughout the District all worked together to package meals for those in need.

The meal bags include a nutrient package, a scoop of dehydrated vegetables, soy protein, and rice. One meal package boiled in a gallon and half of water will feed six people. Rich Hale, president of the Citrus Heights Rotary Club, said the meals are sent to developing countries: “They go all over the world, wherever the need is.”

“There’s a lot of starving people in the world, and you cannot function in society if you’re hungry. That’s why this is so important,” said Hale. “One bag can feed a family of six, so you can see the impact. That’s why we do it.”

District 5180 held a Poker Night fundraiser in April to raise $20,000 for the meal-packing event, and Heinz donated an additional $3,000. With a total of $23,000, the District was able to set the goal of more 75,000 meals.

Hale said, “We’ve been wanting to have a big District event, so this was very successful.… Hopefully this gives us momentum for years to come and we can do this again.” Hale said that next year they’d like to fill a shipping container, which holds 289,000 meals.

Hale said Rise Against Hunger is “a very well-organized company.… They bring all the materials and all the equipment we need.”

“This is an amazing undertaking,” said Pete Schroeder of the Fair Oaks Rotary Club. “It’s just incredible when people get together and it’s organized and they know what they’re doing.”

Jim Quinney, Rise Against Hunger community engagement manager for the Sacramento territory, said, “We started working with the Rotary in Citrus Heights four years ago for the 10,000-meal event, and it’s grown and now we’re collaborating with other clubs.… It’s just been wonderful to see the spirit of collaboration, and all these people are true advocates working to end hunger by 2030.”

Quinney described the Rise Against Hunger meal-packing events as “scalable turn-key operations.” They have the resources to organize events of any size, from large work parties to small team-building events.

Quinney said, “We want to engage as many people as possible. Every day we want people thinking about hunger and how they can help.”

“Helping others is a big part of who we are, and who the club is,” said Fair Oaks Rotary Club member Joe Arguelles. “It’s important to come and stand by your fellow man and help other people, help those who need help, so you can really feel like you’ve done something good for somebody.”

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Fool’s Gold

By David Dickstein, Gold River resident  |  2017-06-29

What caught my eye was a large red, yellow and white sign that read, “WE ACCEPT EBT.”

Buying Ben & Jerry’s on Food Stamps

Driving home from a long, hard day at work, and thankful that I got one as opposed to the skilled people hating every moment being unemployed, I took notice of a large banner above Coloma Food & Liquor. You know the place – the mini-mart next to Wienerschnitzel across Sunrise. What caught my eye was a large red, yellow and white sign that read, “WE ACCEPT EBT.”

Wrongly or rightly, my first thought was that liquor stores shouldn’t be part of the Electronic Benefit Transfer Project due to the inflated prices inherent to such businesses. That’s just the nature of liquor stores, mini-marts, convenience stores – whatever you want to call them. They charge significantly higher prices than conventional groceries or supermarkets because smaller retailers order lower quantities of inventory at higher per-unit prices from wholesalers. Anyone who has stepped foot in one or looks up Wikipedia knows that.

My beef when I saw the outdoor banner wasn’t just with Coloma Food & Liquor, but EBT recipients who shop there. Trust me, my heart and taxes warmly go out to those on welfare who try to get off it. But if I were in need of financial aid, I wouldn’t be buying groceries at a liquor store. I’d try to put more food on the table by stretching my dollars at, say, the warehouse-style Smart & Final just around the corner. And if that wasn’t convenient, then a supermarket or drugstore with serious buying power, like our Bel Air and Rite-Aid that also accept EBT. These big retailers would never be undersold on essentials by a high-priced mini-mart, right?

In order to stand on my soapbox with confidence, I visited all four of those stores on a recent Saturday to price-check a half-dozen like grocery items. Besides such staples as milk, bread and boxed cereal, I went with a carton of Coke because “junk foods” is routinely the second-most popular category for EBT households after meat, poultry and seafood. Sadly, according to a November 2016 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 20 cents of every EBT dollar are spent on sweetened beverages, desserts, salty snacks and candy. Because “frozen prepared foods” comes in at No. 4 (vegetables are third, yippee), I also tossed a frozen pizza in the shopping cart.

Now for dessert. Super premium ice cream was my pick because a year ago I seethed over a mom on welfare splurging on Ben & Jerry’s. OK, calm down all you bleeding-heart snackers. I’m not saying that EBT cardholders shouldn’t enjoy the finer things of life. But even my wife and I feel guilty buying luxury brands for non-essentials, and we’re double-income empty nesters living in Gold River! (Knock on wood.)

So, let’s get to the research. Below are the lowest non-member everyday prices I found on like products at Coloma Food & Liquor (“Coloma”) and our local Bel Air, Rite-Aid and Smart & Final (“S&F”):

  • 12-can carton of regular Coke: $4.99 (Coloma), $6.99 (Bel Air), $5.99 (S&F), $6.29 (Rite-Aid).
  • Two 1-gallon jugs of whole or 2% reduced fat milk: $6.99 (Coloma), $5.98 (Bel Air), $4.80 (S&F), $7.98 (Rite-Aid).
  • Loaf of white bread: $1.99 (Coloma), $1.28 (Bel Air), $1.59 (S&F), $2.99 (Rite-Aid).
  • 12-ounce box of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies: $3.99 (Coloma), $2.99 (Bel Air), $3.29 (S&F), $5.29 (Rite-Aid).
  • DiGiorno frozen pizza: $6.99 (Coloma), $6.99 (Bel Air), $5.89 (S&F), $7.99 (Rite-Aid).
  • Pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream: $5.49 (Coloma), $4.99 (Bel Air), $3.89 (S&F), $5.99 (Rite-Aid).

Clearly, my knee-jerk was unfair to Coloma Food & Liquor. For a mini-mart, those items are reasonably priced. We can also conclude, based on this very small sample, that EBT funds stretch furthest at Smart & Final or Bel Air, depending on the item. As for the nation’s third-largest drugstore chain, Rite-Aid should be ashamed of itself. I get it – it’s not a grocery. But charging nearly double for the same box of cereal found at another store mere steps away? Not OK, and the Rainbo Bread guy who was stocking Bel Air’s shelves when I was doing my thing agreed.

“Yeah,” he said, pointing in the direction of Rite-Aid, “you don’t want to spend your EBT over there.”

So, color me enlightened. I started out my story thinking a close-by Rancho Cordova liquor store would be the villain and it winds up being the place in Gold River that fills my prescriptions. Or at least it did.

And, again, my apologies to Coloma Food & Liquor for assuming the worst. “It’s a common misconception,” I was told by store employee Shan that morning. He also said that for the sake of accuracy I should expand my grocery list.

“These cheap things,” he said, pointing to the package of six high-fat Hostess powdered mini donuts. “That’s a meal for many of our EBT customers.”


David Dickstein can be reached at

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Sacramento Food Bank & Families Services Brings Fresh Produce to Urban Neighborhoods

Source: 3Fold Communications  |  2017-03-10

New Produce for All Truck Provides Farmers’ Market Experience

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS), provider of food and support to 135,000 of the 242,000 members of the Sacramento community who are food insecure, just got more mobile.

Its new, Produce for All truck can motor to a destination, and because of its nifty design, roll up its side doors and distribute food akin to a famers’ market. Anyone (no questions asked) can select fresh produce of their choosing from the open-air bins. The quality groceries come from regional farms and a variety of other sources.

The traveling produce truck, on the road due to the generosity of a Sutter Health Community Benefit investment, is an important addition to SFBFS’ 224 partner agencies that help to expand food distribution throughout the county.

“When one in four children in Sacramento County lives in poverty, and nearly half of our seniors don’t have enough income to meet the most basic of expenses, our services are more important than ever before,” says Blake Young, President/CEO. “Our new Produce for All truck will increase our capacity to serve more residents where they live.”

Transportation to one, centralized food bank in the county is often an overwhelming obstacle for food insecure families. Those who must rely on public transportation, seniors, families, the working poor, the unemployed and the disabled, can find navigating the system challenging. When fresh produce can come to them, a healthier lifestyle is more likely. SFBFS’ Produce for All truck, transporting food from local growers and donors to as many as 300 families at any given stop, is also a neighborhood-by-neighborhood link to additional services such as CalFresh, employment, housing and healthcare.

“No one - regardless of income level, age, gender, race/ethnicity, marital status or community of residence - is invulnerable to the possibility of experiencing food insecurity sometime in their lives,” says Young. And when that happens, by providing healthy food, we may be able to offer other assistance related to the root cause of poverty.”

SFBFS’ Produce for All truck offers a robust calendar of regularly scheduled stops.  To view a calendar listing of current Produce for All food distributions, visit:

Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS) offers compassionate support and a compass for families navigating difficult times. With 15 diverse programs and services, a staff of 83 employees, several thousand volunteers and the financial support of the community, SFBFS guides families on their journey through support and education. Since 2014, SFBFS has served as the main food bank of Sacramento County.

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Virtual Public School Gives Back at Sacramento Food Bank

Story and Photos by Margaret Snider  |  2017-01-27

Volunteers from California Connections Academy @ Ripon sort food in their service project at the Sacramento Food Bank.

California Connections Academy @ Ripon is a tuition free, virtual public school serving students in an eight county region including Sacramento County. While students are widely dispersed and complete course work online, they do get together regularly for field trips.

Amber Manko, School Counselor from Modesto said that she and other counselors and advisory teachers decided a good way to get students engaged in community service would be to schedule a service project. After researching, they agreed that the Sacramento Food Bank sounded like a good choice. “I’ve been pretty impressed with the organization and how it’s run,” Manko said. “I’m really just excited to be able to offer the opportunity for kids.”

At the food bank Maria Zefo, food resource manager, showed the group around the facility on Bell Avenue in Sacramento. The food bank took over the building from Senior Gleaners around two years ago. “At that time, we were feeding about 50,000 people,” Zefo said. “Now we’re at 135,000.”  Zefo took the group through several of the warehouses (there are five) to the one where the group would work. She filled them in on Sacramento Food Bank facts along the way.

The organization serves Sacramento County via 220 other agencies who come to them for food and resources:  churches, soup kitchens, food pantries, senior programs and more. The food bank itself does not dispense food from their facility, but they do send their trucks out to nearly 20 sites to dispense food. “We just completed hunger assessment for this county, what areas are not being served, where there is need and no agency, where we can go and pull up a truck and hand you some food,” Zefo said.

The Sacramento Food Bank serves over 135,000 people a month via family services programs and food distribution. In 2015 donors provided 16,342,858 pounds of food and 175,124 clothing items. Nearly 8,000 volunteers gave close to 90,000 hours of service. Only 7 cents on the dollar goes to operating costs, so 93% of the food bank budget goes directly to programs. The national average, per Zefo, is only 80% directly going to programs.

The California Connections Academy group’s job was to sort food, and they attacked the huge bins with gusto during their three hours of service. School Site Administrator Amy Hunt, along with her 10-year-old son Brady, worked alongside the others. “Brady and I got to the bottom of our barrel, and we moved on to another one,” Hunt said. “I think we were the slowest of everyone there. When we got to the bottom, everyone else had moved on to another one.”

Those volunteers who turned up for the event were happy they were able to help. “We’re already going to start looking for an opportunity in the Bay Area, another area that our families hopefully can attend,” Hunt said.

Though Manko was disappointed in the number of those turning out for this event, she hopes for a better response in the future. “I work with high school students and often they want to know how they can get involved in their community,” Manko said. “So it would be nice if our school can build on this and offer more opportunities throughout the year... It’s important.”

California Connections Academy @ Ripon opened in 2012 and is part of the Connections Education Academy, which was founded in 2001.  In the 2015-2016 school year, Connections education supported 30 virtual public schools in 26 states, serving more than 65,000 students.

For more information on California Connections Academy @ Ripon, call (209) 253-1208 or see

For more information on the Sacramento Food Bank, call (916) 456-1980 or see

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CDPH Offers Food Safety Tips for the Holidays

Source: California Department of Public Health  |  2016-12-01

With the holiday season approaching, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reminds consumers to use safe food preparation and storage measures to prevent foodborne illness. Bacteria that can be found in foods such as meat and poultry may cause illness if they are insufficiently cooked, inadequately cooled or improperly handled.

“We can help ensure that foodborne illnesses don’t ruin our holidays by properly preparing and handling meat, poultry and other foods,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith.

About 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths in the U.S. each year are related to foodborne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Foodborne diseases can be prevented by: washing hands with soap and warm water before and after food preparation, and especially after handling raw foods; cleaning all work surfaces, utensils and dishes with hot soapy water and rinsing them with hot water after each use; cooking food thoroughly and refrigerating adequately between meals.

Symptoms of foodborne disease can include diarrhea, which may be bloody, vomiting, abdominal cramps and fever. Most infected people recover from foodborne illnesses within a week. Some, however, may develop complications that require hospitalization. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for potentially life-threatening complications.

Additional information about food safety is available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). Consumers can also access the national Partnership for Food Safety Education’s Fight BAC! Website

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Food Truck Events Come to Rancho Cordova

Source: City of Rancho Cordova  |  2016-10-21

Spice up your weekday lunch routine! Off the Grid Sacramento has launched a weekly food truck event series in the City of Rancho Cordova.

Every Thursday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., a pop-up food market features local food trucks at Rancho Cordova City Hall, 2729 Prospect Park Drive. From lobster rolls to burgers to gyros, Off the Grid brings plenty of options to our community.

This weekly food truck event offers unique lunchtime options for those who work in Rancho Cordova’s business park or live in the nearby neighborhoods.

Visit for the weekly food truck line-up and other events in the Sacramento region. Download the Off the Grid App or sign up for Off the Grid’s newsletter. Be sure to also check out Off the Grid on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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