By Katherine Avila, Food & Fund Drive Coordinator
When the pandemic hit our community ACCFB had to pause the collection of Food Drives so that our transportation team could focus on delivering over a million pounds of food to our community each week. And, since the need for food is still many times what it was before the pandemic, we’ve had to re-think Food Drives to make them sustainable for our team and community.
That’s where 1st United Credit Union stepped in to help us out.
My name is Katherine Avila and I have been Food & Fund Drive Coordinator for almost 10 years. Being able to connect with individuals and organizations through Food Drives has been gratifying, because so many in our community want to help uplift our community. From the little girl who wants to add a food drive for her birthday party, to large corporations who combine a traditional barrel drive with a Virtual Food Drive, it’s heartwarming to know how many people truly care.
As I prepare to retire from ACCFB, I wanted to make sure that the “new” Food Drive program was in good hands. With our busy transportation team unable to pick up small Food Drives individually, we knew we’d need an innovative new format and the support of a solid community partner to do so.
The first organization that came to my mind was 1st United Credit Union, which has been serving Alameda County residents for 90 years and has been a supporter of ACCFB for over 15 years. With their “Home Runs for Hunger” campaign in collaboration with the Oakland Athletics benefitting our work, we knew that their local roots run deep. They just might be the perfect partner for a new way of doing food drives, I thought.
When we approached Lisha Fabris, 1st United Credit Union’s Director of Media & Communications, she understood the need immediately, and was enthusiastic about this new opportunity to support the ACCFB community. 1st United Credit Union stepped up to give us the breathing room and quite literally the space to innovate to try something new — together. As the official ACCFB 2022 Food Drive Sponsor, 1st United welcomed our food drive barrels at each of their 9 locations throughout the county.
All you have to do is collect shelf-stable pantry items in your own containers to drop off in the ACCFB barrels at the 1st United Credit Union branch near you.
While it may seem as though life is “getting back to normal”, we know that so many in our community were not experiencing a “normal life” even before the pandemic, let alone now. We know that it will take many, many months, even years, for our neighbors to get back on their feet. In the meantime, we can all continue to work to serve our community, and we are deeply grateful to partners like 1st United Credit Union, who join us in our mission to make sure that no child, no senior, and no family in Alameda County goes hungry — ever.