‘Feed Alameda’ program benefits local business and communities in need

Alameda is about to launch a new program where the city will pay one local restaurant a week to prepare 90 hot, nutritious meals for people who are homeless or escaping domestic violence.

It is called "Feed Alameda." It means extra money coming in for about 40 local restaurants including, Speisekammer, a German restaurant in town.

The restaurant was picked by lottery to be among the first to prepare 90 individual hot meals beginning next week. The city will pay $25 for each meal.

"That's $2,000 worth of sales. And all hands on deck that day. It is quite an operation to put together 90 meals at the same time. I think everyone will feel good about it and it is a day's work," said Cindy Kahl, co-owner of Speisekammer.

Before the pandemic, the restaurant had 44 people working there. Now Kahl said it is less than 10.

"All of last week we made as much as used to on a Friday," Kahl said.

"This is just a little way to help send a little funding stream to keep them in business," said Alameda Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft.

The mayor said she got the idea after participating in a video conference of U.S. mayors.

Dozens of homeless people will also benefit by getting a takeout dinner from a local restaurant, says the director of a non-profit program that works with those who have almost nothing.

"The ability to provide a good fresh hot meal, a home-cooked meal is so essential to our unsheltered. So I'm just so grateful for the program," said Joey Harrison, executive director of the Village of Love.

The city has launched a Gofundme page to help keep the program going. So far it has raised close to $24,000.