Drive-through food collection benefits Food Bank at site of postponed Bay Area KidFest

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano benefitted from a Drive-Through Food Collection at the Bay Area KidFest site in Concord last month. KidFest staff, from left, Larry Witus, ­Janine Witus and producer Jay Bedecarré joined the Food Bank’s Sharon Zeppegno as bins from the drive were loaded. (Photo courtesy Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano )

For the first time in 31 years there was no Bay Area KidFest on Memorial Day Weekend in downtown Concord.
However, KidFest’s long-time team was on hand Saturday, May 23, to help one of its loyal partners for the past 24 years, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Drive-Through Food Collection was held at the KidFest site in Concord during the first two hours of the traditional KidFest opening. Each family donating received a free admission ticket to KidFest.

KidFest producer Jay Bedecarré of Bay Area Festivals reported that donations at the Drive-Through Collection actually were one pound more than during one of the days at KidFest 2019. Over the years, KidFest attendees have donated over 130,000 pounds to the Food Bank.

Food Bank Drive Administrator Neil Zarchin said that in the past two months during the coronavirus pandemic, “our food distributions are up 40 percent in terms of the number of people served. We have just completed a forecast that even as people return to work during the next year, we anticipate an overall increase of 25 percent in terms of pounds of food served. With the postponement in April of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, we lost over 200,000 pounds of food donations.”

KidFest is the largest annual event in Concord. KidFest 2020 has been rescheduled for the Labor Day Weekend, Sept 5-7, and Bedecarré says a decision will be made soon if it will be safe and practical to host KidFest then.

For more information on Kidfest, go to To donate to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano counties, go to