Babies, toddlers, elderly folks and all ages in between benefit from donations to the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano. Each month, about 149,000 residents in our communities stave off hunger with food bank supplements to their meals. In addition to the numerous grocery stores and other businesses that supply bins for donations, two Danville neighborhoods conduct their own holiday food drives.

Blackhawk Country Club's drive takes place Tuesday, with Crow Canyon Country Club's drive Dec. 12. Grocery bags are delivered by volunteers to homes in the gated communities about a week before the drive. Items needed include peanut butter, canned meat, fish or poultry, powdered milk, dry or canned beans, healthy, whole-grain cereals, nonperishable ready-to-eat meals, canned soups/fruit/vegetables/tomato products and brown rice or whole wheat pasta. The food bank cannot accept glass, expired or previously opened items. Tax-deductible checks, payable to the Food Bank of CC&S, are also welcome.

The Blackhawk community has been collecting food during the holiday season for 25 years. Festive sleighs and cheerful residents ("elves") will be located at neighborhood gates on the 10th, including the Main and East gates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the Hidden Oaks and Silver Maple gates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last year's drive netted 11,456 pounds of food and $27,386, said Amanda Kuiper, food drive chair.

Dani McInnes has been coordinating Crow Canyon Country Club's drive, which also started around 1988, since 2008, she said. She and her team of volunteer "elves" will be in front of Crow Canyon Country Club on the 12th from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last year, Crow Canyon residents donated 2,337 pounds of food and $2,323.

Free holiday train rides, snow shows, holiday concerts, a Festival of Music and other activities are rocking Blackhawk Plaza this month. The train rides, located near the children's play area, are from 12 to 3 p.m. the weekends of Dec. 14-15 and Dec. 21-22. Visit any Blackhawk Plaza shop to receive a complimentary ticket. Snow shows and music take place from 6 to 8 p.m. each Friday through Dec. 20, and Story Time with Santa is at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and Dec. 18 at Read Booksellers.

Two "Rockin' Holiday Free Holiday Concerts" are scheduled at the Plaza from 6 to 8 p.m. Holiday Soul, described as "upbeat holiday music with a touch of soul," plays Saturday, and the Mistletones, with "rockin' holiday tunes," appear Dec. 14.

The Festival of Music plays through Dec. 24 and features local school choirs, bands and theater performers. Check the Holiday Happenings Calendar for details at http://www.shopblackhawkplaza.com/center_events.html.

The public is invited to a Christmas concert hosted by Peace Lutheran Church at 5 p.m. Sunday. Featured artists include Elizabeth Hunter Ashley, lyric coloratura soprano and member of Peace, and Hyunjung Choi, organist and Pacific Choir director. In addition, the Coelis Ensemble will sing, accompanied by guest musicians. Classical works, including portions of "The Messiah," Christmas carols and seasonal favorites will be performed for voice and organ. General admission is $15; student admission is $10; and free admission for children 10 and under. Peace is located at 3201 Camino Tassajara in Danville. For information, call 925-648-7000.

Contact Georgia Lambert at around- danville@yahoo.com.