Elizabeth Kemp was rooting through a giant box of donated canned goods at the Redwood Empire Food Bank Wednesday when she heard that a donation of 25,290 fresh, local eggs that had just arrived.
"Oh my God, I'm going to take a box of eggs," she said.
Kemp is a volunteer with a group called "Brown Baggers" in Sonoma that distributes more than 10,000 lunches on the streets each year.
The eggs, more than 2,100 dozen, were donated to the Redwood Empire Food Bank by NuCal Foods, a cooperative of family owned egg farms, and all of the eggs in the delivery came from Sunrise Farms in Petaluma.
"It's a time when eggs are probably more at the forefront, the same as they would be during the other holidays," said Arnie Riebli, a partner in Sunrise Farms. "It's a time of cooking, and family get-togethers, and it's just our way of trying to help."
Riebli said the cooperative has been donating eggs during holidays such as Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas for several years, and it also makes smaller donations locally on a weekly basis.
Miriam Hodgman, communications coordinator for the food bank, said the eggs were going to fly out off the shelves. "We can always use more fresh eggs," Hodgman said. "They're in demand."
Hodgman the eggs would make their way to various organizations including those that serve seniors, who would be especially happy to receive the ingredients that make a nutritious and easy-to-prepare meal.
"People understand eggs," said Gail Atkins, director of programs for the food bank. "Proteins are more expensive for the most part, and you can make a meal out of an egg. It's not something we normally distribute."
Hundreds of eggs will be given to the Boys and Girls Club in Petaluma, which is planning an Easter egg hunt and decorating event April 22, said Kim Grisell, area director. The eggs also will be used in cooking projects.
Grisell said five of the club sites are in affordable housing complexes, where families are often in need.
"Any extra eggs will be going home with the families that need them," Grisell said.
Kemp said she was going to cook an egg burrito to hand out during Thursday distribution, and she was planning to call Riebli to thank him.
"That's our job; we're part of the community," Riebli said. "And there's a certain segment of the community that is hurting. And when people are hurting, other folks have got to step up and help solve the problem."