“I’m very grateful that this meal happens.” Says “Lena,” as she eats at our free Community Meal. Lena has lived in Berkeley for nearly three decades, but last year she lost her housing. “Berkeley is my home. I made it my home 27 years ago. I raised my children here.” Now she lives out of her vehicle and eats at Community Meal every day she can. Lena doesn’t have a home, but she is thankful to have somewhere she can get a hot and nutritious meal. “I have food. I cannot explain to you how grateful I am.”
As the housing crisis continues to grow in the Bay Area and beyond, we are seeing more long-term residents at risk of losing their homes. In Alameda County we saw a nearly 43% increase in the homeless population over the last two years. Some try to attribute this to a new influx of people seeking services, but in fact, 58% of the homeless in Alameda County have lived here for 10 or more years. For our neighbors without housing, sometimes this free meal is all they can count on in their lives. Lena wants people to know that having programs like Community Meal really matters to those who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness. “It does make a difference. It is so important.”
That’s why we are asking for your help to support our meals program, which not only serves the 60-100 people who eat at Community Meal each day, but also provides nutritious meals for the 64 men and women in our Dwight Way shelter. Berkeley Food & Housing Project began as “The Meal Project” in 1970, and nearly 50 years later feeding the hungry is still at the heart of what we do to help people in our community.
Lena is doing all she can to access the services she needs and get back into housing as soon as possible. “I’m in communication with some great people, and I’m looking into affordable housing. I’m also applying for jobs, today I submitted my third job application.”
Please help us continue to provide this basic need and help people like Lena get back on their feet by making a contribution to support our meals program.
- $150 covers the cost of food for one day at Community Meal
- $300 can purchase ingredients for two days of food at Community Meal
- $600 can cover the cost of food for our Community Meal for one week
- $1200 covers the cost of Community Meal and our shelters for one week
Your tax deductible donation will help us do so much for the people we serve. We believe they deserve your support, care, and the security of regular nutritious meals.
Director of Advancement
Berkeley Food & Housing Project