Stephen Crank helps hand out food during an SVdP Food Distribution event in Richmond, CA.

For millions across the country, 2020 has been a continuous stream of challenges. The need for emergency assistance has grown considerably in the East Bay, with many people seeking aid for the first time. Together, with our Vincentians, volunteers, donors and community partners, SVdP has been able to help thousands of residents face these times with more certainty and security.

Since April, with the help of our community partners, we have been able to host 30 drive-through and walk-up food distributions feeding over 70,000 people. At these Free Food Distributions, thousands of pounds of healthy food are distributed. We have seen many new faces at these food distributions – people who have never requested help before. Additionally, SVdP has been helping to get food to community members who have been unable to leave their homes.

In addition to the large scale food distributions, the SVdP Conferences (branches) continue to operate 18 food pantries and have served over 30,000 people since March. Some SVdP food pantries, (Bay Point, Oakley and Pinole), have doubled and almost tripled the weekly number of people helped during this crisis. The SVdP Free Dining Room, operated in partnership with Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa, is offering meals “to-go” 7 days per week, ensuring safe distribution of hot meals to the hungry every single day.

With over 15,000 cases of the virus documented in Contra Costa, the health and economic inequalities are hitting our low income neighbors very hard. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, SVdP is helping many of our neighbors in the county shoulder these burdens. Your compassion during this crisis is admirable and awe-inspiring.