Tri-Valley nonprofit Open Heart Kitchen last month accepted a $250,000 grant from the Fremont Bank Foundation that will provide vital funding to move forward with construction of its new production kitchen and dining room in Livermore.
The "Vineyard 2.0 Project" at 460 N. Livermore Ave. will offer a permanent site for supportive services such as temporary overnight shelter, mailboxes, showers, laundry and free hot meals provided by Open Heart Kitchen. The nonprofit hopes to start construction early next year.
"We are so grateful to Fremont Bank Foundation for their generous support over the years. With this significant donation, Vineyard 2.0 is closer to becoming a reality," Open Heart Kitchen Executive Director Heather Greaux said in a statement.
"Fremont Bank Foundation is thrilled to support Open Heart Kitchen's 'New Kitchen, New Hope' campaign. We knew that we wanted to be a part of the Vineyard 2.0 Project to help provide critical services to people who are seeking stability in their lives," added Julie Zhu, Fremont Bank Foundation's senior director, nonprofit group.
The capital campaign remains ongoing at openheartkitchen.org/newkitchen.
In other news, Open Heart Kitchen announced last week that the free grocery care package distribution site it operates in partnership with Tri-Valley Haven and the Alameda County Community Food Bank has been extended through the end of the year in a new location -- 6140 Stoneridge Mall Road in Pleasanton, behind the Workday building.
The free groceries are handed out each Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., via drive-thru curbside pickup.
"The families and individuals who come to us are facing challenging times, and we expect an increase in needing food to intensify during the holidays. We are especially grateful that we can provide extra help in the weeks to come," program manager Shawnda Bost said in a statement.
The program, which began in the pandemic at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in June 2020 and then shifted to the Pleasanton Senior Center this summer, has served 3,300 households and the equivalent of 1.54 million meals in free groceries, officials said. Funding is provided by the Alameda County Social Services Agency and the cities of Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin.