Lifting families out of poverty.
EXPANDING OUR MISSION TO TACKLE HUNGER AT ITS SOURCE
Since its inception, the Alameda Food Bank (AFB) has worked to support the most vulnerable families in our community. With an eye towards the future, we have constantly improved our programs to better serve our neighbors.
From our humble beginnings in a closet at Twin Towers Church to our first days as a client choice pantry on Thau Way, the AFB has considered the needs of those using our services as our guiding light. This was never more apparent than during the pandemic when demand grew tenfold and distribution by contactless, drive-through, outdoor service was initiated at our warehouse on Alameda Point. Those 17 months taught us how important the human connection is in the work that we do, which led to the opening of the Island Community Market – a grocery store-like environment in which our clients could select the food they needed and wanted most…
In planning the Island Community Market, we took the opportunity to further evaluate how our clients experience food bank shopping and to update the process to be as accessible and least intimidating as possible. By reshaping the AFB into a grocery store model, we give our clients a shopping experience not unlike Safeway or Trader Joe’s that firmly says to them, “You are worthy of respect and you should have the ability to choose.”
But respect and choice don’t necessarily mean that a meal today will change the circumstances for a family tomorrow. AFB was designed as an emergency intervention for those struggling the most on our Island, and as the new Executive Director, I plan to explore how we can offer additional support to the families that have been utilizing our services for years. By partnering with other organizations whose missions align with our ultimate goal of lifting families out of poverty, we can better support our clients to ensure that their needs beyond food are being met.
This has already started with our partnership with the Alameda Unified School District where we are providing snacks to low income students at Title I elementary schools, ensuring that students aren’t distracted by hunger and have the full potential to focus on learning.
With these principles in mind, I look forward to guiding AFB into its next era, continuing to offer the most dignified and client-centered service possible while exploring opportunities to partner with other organizations to ensure that clients have every chance to improve their circumstances.
I look forward to continuing to be a part of this amazing organization and welcome the chance to discuss the future of AFB further with everyone who has benefitted from or supported its work.