2019: Thank you Alameda for another incredible year

From the purest of efforts (a lemonade stand setup to raise money for us) to the most ambitious of events (Scouting for Food collecting a record-breaking 9 tons), 2019 was a year when Islanders Helping Islanders was more than a slogan, it was truly the definition of a community.

When the new year dawned, the Alameda Food Bank was rising to the challenge of the government shutdown that left many local members of the Coast Guard and other federal employees without paychecks. AFB sent vanloads of food to multiple pantries set up by Coast Guard families and administration. In all, more than 18,000 pounds of donated food helped Coast Guard families put healthy meals on the table during the 35-day shutdown.

Our generous community donated more than 15 tons of food during AFB’s two major food drives – Stamp Out Hunger, organized by local mail carriers in May, and Scouting for Food, a project of Alameda Scouts, in November. And that doesn’t count the 1,003 turkeys generously donated by community businesses and residents during our annual Turkey Drive in November.
AFB’s brightly-colored new logo – designed by a team of students at Alameda High – was rolled out over the summer and now graces our van, our website, our volunteer t-shirts and all our printed materials.

Throughout the year, our 165 volunteers donated 28,500 hours helping our more than 5,000 clients select food from the all-choice pantry at our Thau Way distribution center and our Alameda Point warehouse. We also took our show on the road, setting up our mobile pantry monthly at the Alameda Housing Authority’s low-income apartments, two senior residences and Island High School. AFB also provided food for the monthly meals at the Dine & Connect dinner for the homeless and at the Warming Center, which operates during the winter months at Christ Episcopal Church. We also provide fresh fruit and snacks for students at Alameda high schools and an onsite food pantry at Island High so students can have food during the holiday closures.

Throughout the year, we kept up fundraising efforts in order to keep all this activity going to meet the needs of the 2,100 Island families that depend on us. As the year ended, AFB had raised $470,000 from generous individuals, businesses and organizations on and off the Island, bucking the trend of other area food banks which have seen a decline in donations.

With the Bay Area cost of living steadily rising and the federal government poised to make food stamps harder to get, our work is cut out for us in 2020. With the help of all of our big-hearted supporters in the community, we’re ready, willing and able to keep feeding the Island as we have since 1977.