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The Pioneer

Alameda Food Bank provides meals for the holidays

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Alameda Food Bank provides meals for the holidays

PHOTO COURTESY OF RGAMER065/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF RGAMER065/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

PHOTO COURTESY OF RGAMER065/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

By Andrew Cooper, CONTRIBUTOR

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The holiday season is traditionally associated with family, laughs, and food. However, every year thousands of individuals across the nation remain hungry on feast-filled days like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Alameda Food Bank is trying to minimize the population that does not have food throughout the holidays. On Saturday, Nov. 17, the food bank will host a turkey and holiday food items giveaway for current Alameda Food Bank clients.
“Our mission is to provide hunger relief to all residents in need in the city of Alameda,” said Cindy Houts, the director of the Alameda Food Bank. “We expect to give out at least 1000 turkeys this year.”
The skyrocketing cost of living in the Bay Area has made it difficult for residents to afford luxuries like wine and gravy filled feasts during the holidays. Since 2015, median rent in Alameda County has increased by 25 percent, according to KQED.
“A single person can make up to $3016 a month and a family of three can make up to $5105 and still qualify as an Alameda Food Bank client,” shared Houts. “We serve many working families that struggle with the high cost of living in the Bay Area.”
Houts explained how imperative the volunteers at the food bank are for making everything happen. She credits the volunteers for allowing the food bank to maximize the amount of families in need they are able to help.
“We are fortunate that we are able to keep our labor costs fairly low due to the 165 volunteers who provide almost 20,000 hours of free labor annually,” said Houts. “We only have four paid staff and rely on the 165 plus volunteers to get our work done.”
Frozen turkeys and holiday food items will be distributed during the monthly pantry program for current Alameda Food Bank clients who are not able to make it to the giveaway on Nov. 17, according to the Alameda Food Bank’s 2018 holiday season information page. There is a limit of one turkey per household this holiday season.

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Alameda Food Bank provides meals for the holidays