Pleasanton Weekly

News - November 25, 2011

Food pantries to get storage

Nonprofits, city working together to build facility

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Did you have trouble finding room in the fridge for your turkey this week? Now think of the space needed by Open Heart Kitchen, which stores more than 700 turkeys each year between November and December.

The city of Pleasanton and its Human Services Commission is partnering with Open Heart Kitchen to help meet its growing need for a storage facility, given that it has seen a 34% increase in meals served since 2007, last year providing almost 217,000.

"It's all about collaboration when working on the issue of hunger," said Linda McKeever, executive director of Open Heart Kitchen. "We believe it will get us to this next, critical step to have a central location that would allow all pantries to receive, store and share donated food."

Storage units for dry, refrigerated and frozen goods will be available for all the food pantries, including Tri-Valley Haven and Interfaith Sharing Pantry. Sometimes the nonprofit groups have had to turn away donations for lack of storage.

Safeway just donated $20,000 to support the project as part of the events to open its new Pleasanton store. Open Heart Kitchen also allocated $20,000 toward the project, and another $11,973 was awarded through the Pleasanton Housing and Human Services grant program.

An estimated $56,000 is still needed to complete the project, which will eventually house the three storage units at the Pleasanton Operation Services Center on Busch Road. The project includes site preparation (grading, electrical, drainage, asphalt, and fencing) and the purchase of the actual storage units.

For more information, call Community Services Manager Kathleen Yurchak at 931-5346.

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