Drive-through food distributions were not part of our work before March of 2020. The previous year, during the government shutdown, our team started assembling and distributing easy to carry Emergency Food Bags to meet the sudden surge in need quickly and efficiently. That experience, combined with Alameda County’s donation of space along Oakport Street and a whole lot of hard (and fast!) work, resulted in ACCFB’s first zero-contact drive-through food distribution. It launched on March 30, 2020 – just two weeks after California’s shelter-in-place order. The system was simple: the ACCFB crew assembled food boxes while participants drove up in their cars and, after a brief check-in, popped their trunks and got the food they needed.
The first distribution was promoted through word of mouth and served 28 cars. Within a week, hundreds showed up. Up to 1,000 vehicles were being served at its peak during each distribution. And, by the end of 2021, the drive-through was still doing the same numbers it was during the previous summer — signaling both how much recovery there is to go and just how vital this distribution had become.
Since the start of the drive-through, a team of dedicated individuals, including ACCFB Staff, government workers, and volunteers, have given away fruit, vegetables, eggs, milk, and other nutritious staples three times a week rain, shine, wind, and even wildfire smoke.
In January 2022, we relocated our Oakland drive-through food distribution to 69th Avenue. While there is still work to do, we wanted to take the opportunity to commemorate the power of this community and celebrate everything we’ve accomplished together on Oakport Street. Over the 21 months at Oakport:
- 495 ACCFB volunteers and government disaster service workers logged 42,989 hours and…
- …loaded 174,550 cars.
- Those cars represented 297,656 households, or…
- 1,172,319 people!
Please click through the slideshow below to see some of the hard work that made it possible!