According to the Orange County Food Bank, nearly half a million people are at risk for hunger every month in the O.C. alone. To help combat hunger and its associated health effects in the region, the Food Bank distributes approximately 20 million pounds of food annually to vulnerable residents, in addition to supporting close to 400 charities, social service agencies, and other organizations relying on the Food Bank’s donations.
Although most WINDPOWER attendees will fly in and out of town without getting to experience much outside the convention center, AWEA has arranged for visitors to take a break from their hectic schedules on Saturday, May 21, and volunteer alongside other industry professionals to prepare meal packets for low-income families at the Food Bank. The activity only requires a short commitment of time from participants, allowing them to spend the rest of the day enjoying the local Anaheim attractions or finalizing their booth setup at the exhibition.
“We anticipate that up to 20,000 visitors will attend the WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition this year,” said Stefanie Brown, American Wind Energy Association senior director of conferences and meetings. “We’re always looking for creative ways to enhance the attendees’ experience at our event, and volunteering for just a few short hours at the Food Bank not only provides a new type of networking opportunity in a new environment, but also has the added benefit of directly contributing to another good cause for the people who live and work in our host city.”
American Wind Energy Association has also donated sufficient renewable energy credits (RECs) to offset a year’s worth of energy for the Food Bank’s 35,000-square-foot warehouse where the organization feeds 1,400 people daily.
If attendees are unable to participate in the volunteer service event on-site at the Food Bank, they can still donate food “virtually” through monetary gifts via the Orange County Food Bank Virtual Drive website. WINDPOWER 2011 participants will also be able to enter the uCANwin Game at the conference for a chance to win an iPad, tickets to local activities or concession discounts. All proceeds will directly benefit the Food Bank.
Another option to participate is to take your unopened hotel toiletries to the convention center to donate to the Orange County Food Bank. The food bank has an ongoing need for the donation of personal care items such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and tooth paste. Look for the donation bins in the main lobby of the convention center (unopened toiletries only please!)
For more information about the WINDPOWER 2011 Community Service Initiatives, please click here. American Wind Energy Association appreciates your support of these initiatives with the goal of leaving the local community better off, thanks to the generosity of the wind energy industry. More information about WINDPOWER 2011 is also available online.
By Anyah Dembling, AWEA Associate Editor, www.awea.org/blog/