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Merritt S.O.U.L. (Food Bank) Home

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Welcome to Merritt S.O.U.L. (Sustainable Oakland Urban Lives)

Thanks for coming to Merritt S.O.U.L….Please visit us again on October 11
See Featured Recipe HERE; see guidelines to send us yours!
For questions, contact Brandon Christian at

Thanks to all who came to the Merritt S.O.U.L. on Sept. 27 and sampled the delicious Tangy Salad prepared by Nutrition student Shamita Gupte. Find the recipe HERE). This recipe will appear in the upcoming Merritt S.O.U.L. Community Coobook

  After 1-1/2 years and the participation of nearly 5,000 community members, Merritt S.O.U.L. continues to grow and offer more services to Merritt and the far-reaching community. Formerly called, simply, the Food Bank, the name was recently changed to more accurately reflect its purpose: to provide free produce and other grocery items, along with nutritional information, to our students who need a healthy diet to do well in school and in their lives.

Along with the other services we provide, we are in the process of creating the Merritt S.O.U.L Community Cookbook, a collection of easy, low cost, healthy recipes using the produce we provide. This cookbook will be for you…and byyou. We are asking for recipe contributions to the cookbook in all categories and from all ethnicities to show the diversity in our community. It will include hot and cold dishes, appetizers through dessert, and coming from right here in Oakland to all over the world. See the simple guidelines HERE and submit your recipe, which will appear in the cookbook with your name and an optional note from you about the recipes origin and/or preparation tip, to

We’re planning to offer samples of recipes once a month at Merritt S.O.U.L which we started with our Grand Fall Opening on Thursday, Sept. 13. In the cookbook, most recipes will be accompanied by nutritional information provided by students from Merritt’s own Nutrition and Dietetic Department who rotate each semester as part of their community service credits for their classwork. This semester we are fortunate to have Shamita Gupte, who has a background in clinical dietetics from India where she worked as  a dietician for four years. She is currently working toward earning her AS in Dietetic Technology.

We rely on many volunteers to help us provide services at Merritt S.O.U.L. If you are interested in helping us for any amount of time, please contact me at or just see me in D-144 on one of the designated Thursdays. Please also feel free to send me any comments, thoughts, or suggestions you might have.

See you at the next Merritt S.O.U.L.!

Brandon Christian

Coordinator, Merritt S.O.U.L.