PLEASANTON, Calif. (KRON) – For many of us, the pandemic has led to a loss of income and greater dependency on others for food.

Since May, the Tri-Valley food distribution center in Pleasanton has been providing hundreds of families a week with groceries.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, volunteers have greeted food-insecure families with pre-packaged groceries at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, many requiring food assistance for the first time.

“Help a lot. Thank you so much. Yea, we come here once a week, but they help a lot,” Max Chen said.

The non-profit organization’s Open Heart Kitchen and Tri-Valley Haven teaming up to operate the Tri-Valley food distribution center.

People drive up, pick-up, and are then on their way.

“Since the pandemic began, we’ve just seen the need grow,” Becki Mathers, program coordinator, said. 

Open Heart Kitchen says this food drive alone serves more than 700 families per week.

“This has been a great pleasure and helpful for me, because I had to put my wife, unfortunately, in a hospital in January, and Alzheimer’s, so I’m learning how to cook and take care of myself,” Ken Bredlau said. 

Those benefiting from the hard work, more than 25 volunteers put in each day the distribution center opens — grateful they are not being left behind, especially on “Giving Tuesday.”

The first Tuesday following Thanksgiving recognized around the world as a day to contribute to those in need.

“I told them how much I appreciated their services,” Sharon Meck said. 

“Giving Tuesday is huge for all non-profits, really, especially as we’re heading into the second half of the holiday season here. Any support that Open Heart Kitchen or Tri-Valley Haven can receive, just really helps us continue programming like this,” Mathers said.

A program keeping people from going hungry.

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