Merritt Helps Campus and Community With New Alameda County Food Bank Site in D-144
It was only noon on Friday, March 24, just one hour since opening, and the Alameda County Food Bank’s new Merritt facility had already served 50 people, according to Coordinator Brandon Christian.
“It’s been really busy and people keep coming in,” Brandon said, smiling as he checked his official clipboard while standing next to a super-size box of fresh oranges. “On opening day we had 148 people. It was great! The food is for families in need and anyone on campus or in the community is welcome. Especially with rents rising, people can’t always afford nutritious food.”
The staff, led by Brandon, is totally made up of volunteers who do check-ins and help the customers. On this day there were 10 volunteers, including Nia Hill and Andrea Hudson, who were working among the huge boxes of fresh oranges, apples, pears, and various kinds of bread.
The long-awaited grand opening on March 10 was made possible by President Marie-Elaine Burns and her staff, including Brandon, who worked tirelessly to bring the Food Bank back to Merritt after a survey showed that there was a need. It’s open on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The next date is April 28.
The Alameda County Food Bank has been at the forefront of hunger-relief efforts since it opened in 1985. The food bank operates through a network of 240 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community-based organizations throughout Alameda County.