The East Bay Food Pantry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that engages and empowers the East Bay community. We provide free and low-cost food and other items to people in need, and we have a Thrift Shop to generate revenue. To operate the pantry, we need your help!
As food prices rise, the East Bay Food Pantry finds it increasingly difficult to provide for its customers. Fresh produce makes up a third of the pantry’s total purchases and is now up to 50 percent more expensive than last year. In response, the food pantry is raising its prices.
Food prices are making it increasingly difficult for many families to put food on the table, putting additional pressure on local food banks. The Share Food Pantry operates out of First Christian Church in Concord and has had many challenges. It is struggling to cope with rising gas prices and a bird flu outbreak that has led to shortages of eggs. Because of this, the food pantry is mainly dependent on donated items.
Many struggles to make ends meet, even working two or three jobs. The cost of fruits and vegetables has increased by almost 25 percent over the last two years, and the demand for those foods has risen by 50%. The food pantry has experienced a dramatic increase in its request for nutritious foods.
The pantry temporarily changed its model to accommodate a pandemic and is preparing to phase back into in-person shopping in the next few months. The new space is designed to allow more individual interaction with clients and offers a clear view of fresh produce and dairy. The pantry has also implemented new shelving to make it easier for clients to find staples and dry goods.
The holiday season is a time for giving. Whether it’s through food donations, volunteering at a food pantry, or participating in an event, there are many ways to give back. Volunteering is a time-honored tradition for many families, especially during December. If you would like to give back to the community this holiday season, consider becoming a volunteer at an East Bay food pantry.
Volunteers at the East Bay food pantry are needed to help with the food distribution program. These food pantries are open on the third and fourth Sundays of every month. Volunteers are required to assist with the distribution of food to low-income families and seniors. They also need help in other programs.
The food pantry reported $1,183,693 in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018. This total is almost three-quarters of the total revenue. Most of this revenue is from donations and grants. The rest comes from the limited sales of goods in the thrift shop. During the same quarter, the food pantry saw its visits double to over 1,000 a month, and food prices increased by 40 to 50 percent. Fresh produce accounted for about one-third of total food purchases.
The East Bay Food Bank and Thrift Shop rely on 160 volunteers. Half of them volunteer more than one day a week. The food pantry’s pandemic-era response brought donations and support to the Bay Area. Volunteers at the food pantry can help combat hunger and provide a vital service for the community.
Volunteers at the East Bay food pantry can help by sorting food in their warehouses, helping customers at the food bank, answering phones, and doing other tasks. Volunteers are also needed for food drives and in the office. Those with exceptional skills can also help by working in the warehouse or helping with food sorting shifts.
Thrift shop revenue
The East Bay Food Pantry and Thrift Shop is a nonprofit organization that helps needy people. Its thrift shop revenue is one way to generate additional funds. Volunteers and the community’s generosity make it possible to help people in need and raise money for the pantry. The shop hosts events such as a spring cleaning event and offers items for children and families in need.
Impact of Covid restrictions on food pantry operations
A recent Covid restriction has forced many food pantries to shut their doors. Many of the pantries depend on older volunteers who are more vulnerable to the disease. To maintain their operations, they have had to close or reduce the number of their food pantry days. While this is not a large-scale problem, these restrictions will significantly impact the East Bay food pantry network.
Food pantries in the East Bay report a decline in attendance and increased workload. Hundreds of people have to wait longer to receive assistance. Guests range from small children to senior citizens. Staff members focus on serving seniors first to avoid COVID exposure and large crowds. One such guest is Humberto, who comes to the food pantry for assistance. Over the years, he has developed a personal relationship with pantry staff members.