OAKLAND, Calif. - Alameda County has set up a new map to help residents access information on food distribution sites, along with other resources, as the need for essential services has spiked exponentially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
County of Alameda COVID-19 Food Distribution & Services Map
The map provides up-to-date information on where people can pick up free food, find emergency shelter, and access COVID-19 testing sites during the health emergency.
The map, found here, also includes details on where the sites are located, hours of operation, what agency is operating the service, who is eligible, as well as contact numbers.
County officials invited people to check the map frequently and advised they reach out to the sites before visiting.
"Visit early and often; resource information will be updated regularly as more information becomes available,” officials said on Facebook, adding,"It is recommended to call sites before visiting to confirm location, hours, current availability of supplies, and any other necessary information.”
The county's Social Service’s Agency launched the interactive map in collaboration with community partners, including the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Alameda County Emergency Operations Center.
The Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) said it has seen an unprecedented surge in need as families are finding it increasingly difficult to put food on the table amid the pandemic response.
The food bank said that in the 35 years it's been serving the community, it’s never experienced anything quite like the challenges brought on by this health emergency.
"Our food distribution in March and April surpassed our average monthly goal for the year by 24%," ACCFB spokesman Michael Altfest told KTVU, adding that it's "equivalent to about 1.1 million more meals than if we were 'business as usual' in just those two months."
"Each hour brings a new wall to climb; a new canyon to traverse,” ACCFB said on its website. The organzation said it's ramped up food services and added, "our team is doing everything we can [to] ensure our community’s most vulnerable will get through this."
The food bank invited people use the new map for assistance or contact its helpline at (510) 635-3663.