We work with so many Partners on the Island that we thought it was high time we highlighted some of the best. This month we take a look at Dine & Connect who help Alameda's unhoused population.
On July 7th, the Alameda Food Bank’s Island Community Market opened its doors to the community for in-person grocery shopping. Shoppers are now encouraged to come inside our warehouse at 650 W. Ranger Avenue and personally select the items their families want to eat.
In response to popular demand and with the help of our dedicated staff and volunteers, we’ve re-designed our warehouse to resemble a real community market – much like Trader Joe’s or other neighborhood grocery stores where visitors can browse aisles piled sky-high with fresh produce, canned goods, proteins, frozen foods, bakery and miscellaneous items.
Our goal was to create a light and airy space filled with an abundance of nutritious food that our clients will want to share with their family. The AFB’s Island Community Market brings us a step closer to the personal relationships we cultivated back before the pandemic changed everything.
We’re thrilled to return to a more traditional shopping model rather than the pre-packaged bags and boxes of food which volunteers have been loading into the trunks of cars over the past 15 months. Our goal is to provide more choice, less waste, and a better shopping experience! Personal choice helps our clients regain dignity and power in selecting foods based on their own preferences and dietary restrictions.
We are also making our client’s shopping experience easier by utilizing a new translation device called the Instant Language Assistant (ILA) to better serve those whose primary language is one other than English. This technology will help reduce language barriers and ensure that all clients can fully access our services.
Executive Director, Cindy Houts, noted, “The food insecurity from the pandemic has been nothing like we’ve ever seen and, hopefully, will never see again. It was so inspiring to see how this community stepped up to the plate and supported us and our clients like never before and we are eternally grateful. With the opening of our Island Community Market, we are delighted to provide a grocery store experience that restores dignity and independence to our clients and streamlines the efficient distribution of our resources.”