UPDATED: February 7, 2019
While we’re relieved to hear the government is temporarily re-opened, we expect there will be lasting effects from the shutdown on our community as employees work to recover.
This critical situation has been an uncertain time for our community. Many furloughed employees had never needed Food Bank help before the shutdown.
“I waited as long as I could before coming to the Food Bank,” Ann* said. “I do have a weekly food budget, but that was based on my income.”
As a Transportation Security Administration employee, Ann was required to work during the shutdown, knowing she would not receive a paycheck.
“I don’t know how I would have gotten groceries without the Food Bank,” Ann said.
During the shutdown, we sent 1,200 bags of groceries each week to impacted federal agencies. And, we were grateful to the government employees who spent their time off volunteering in our warehouse.
“We really appreciated having the opportunity to serve the public during the shutdown,” one furloughed volunteer said.
With the high cost of living in the Bay Area, we understand just one catastrophic event – including a missed paycheck – is all it takes for anyone to find themselves needing assistance.
And, this certainly is the case in this situation. As federal employees return to work, many are still recovering from the shutdown’s effects – including additional need resulting from the lengthy gap between SNAP (CalFresh) benefit distributions.
We’ll be here and are prepared to meet this need for as long as necessary.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy
UPDATED: January 25, 2019
This has been an uncertain time for our community. Despite the news of the government temporarily re-opening, the five agencies we’ve been working with are still unsure of when they will begin receiving pay.
Many furloughed employees had never needed Food Bank help before. With the high cost of living in the Bay Area, we understand just one catastrophic event, like a missed paycheck, is all it takes for someone to need assistance.
At this time, we expect there will be lasting effects on our community, including additional need resulting from the lengthy gap between SNAP benefit distributions.
We’re prepared to meet this need for as long as necessary.
Since Monday, Jan. 14, we have swiftly scaled our emergency response efforts to support local federal employees impacted by the shutdown, and their families. Many furloughed employees have never needed Food Bank help before. With the high cost of living in the Bay Area, many of us are one catastrophic event – including a missed paycheck – away from needing assistance.
As the shutdown continues, we will be updating this blog post with information about our efforts and how the community can help.
- Alameda County Community Food Bank is now supporting more than 1,200 local employees working without pay, representing five federal agencies:
- We are making daily deliveries of grocery bags (up to 200 bags per delivery), including shelf stable milk, canned tuna and chicken, oats and cereal, peanut butter and canned fruits and vegetables. We are also delivering a variety of farm-fresh produce (apples, oranges, potatoes, etc.), and occasionally bread.
- As of Jan. 25, we have provided the equivalent of nearly 17,900 meals to federal agencies. This includes 9,780 pounds of non-perishable grocery items and 11,650 pounds of farm-fresh produce.
- We are also welcoming walk-ins from employees to pick up groceries and assist them with CalFresh (food stamp) applications.
- CalFresh (SNAP or “food stamps”) benefits for February were distributed early, around Jan. 15. With the program is currently funded, the next distribution will not occur until early March, at the very earliest. This is creating a 40-day gap in funding, which means we anticipate higher than average need for our assistance in February.
We expect the shutdown will have lasting effects on our community and impacted workers to need assistance long after the shutdown ends. We are also monitoring how the shutdown affects funding for the food stamp program, which supports 120,000 Alameda County residents.
We are committed and prepared to meet this emergency need for as long as necessary, and your support is critical.
HOW TO HELP:
- As this is an emergency response situation, we’ve tapped our food and fund reserves to ensure anyone who needs food assistance has access to the resources they need. This work is only possible because of you, and we’ve received countless calls asking how to help. If you would like to help, please visit our special donation page.
- Volunteering: Our volunteer needs are currently met. Please continue to check back for updated needs.
- Food and Fund Drives: If you would like to collect food or raise funds to help our efforts, please visit our food and fund drive page.
*Due to resources and safety standards, we are unable to accept prepared foods, clothing or other non-food items, or gift cards.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW NEEDS ASSISTANCE:
If you are a representative of an impacted agency and would like to discuss how we may support your employees, please call our Emergency Food Helpline.
It is our mission to ensure everyone in our community has healthy food. If you or someone you know is affected by the shutdown or otherwise needs assistance, we are here to help:
- We can help you get food today. Call our Helpline at (800) 870-FOOD or (510) 635-3663 and our staff can assist you.
- Zip code food locator
- Visit this site to find food today. Just enter your zip code or address to view your nearest Food Bank distribution sites on a map. You’ll be able to find their days and hours of operation.
- CalFresh (food stamps)
- Our outreach team assists families and individuals in enrolling in CalFresh, a supplemental nutrition program that helps families stretch their food budgets. Our team is happy to help you with your application.
- Groceries at Alameda County Community Food Bank
- During the shutdown, we have bags of healthy groceries on hand for impacted employees. Stop by our front desk, and they can assist you. Our address is 7900 Edgewater Dr. Oakland, CA 94621.