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September 23, 2009 > Tri-City Volunteers provides help with basic needs

Tri-City Volunteers provides help with basic needs

By Meenu Gupta

It all started when in 1970 retired school teacher Grace Draper and a couple of her friends thought of extending a helping hand to the local people in need. They began a journey of a thousand miles with that single step. Tri-City Volunteers has now grown into a place for community wellness providing food and emergency social services to over 6,000 families.

Volunteers assist members of the community who need assistance with basic life needs. "We help relieve uncertainty by providing bags of groceries from the food bank, lunches for the homeless, clothing and furniture, rent assistance and emergency motel vouchers," said Executive Director, Bryan Bevers. The objective is to alleviate hunger by distributing donated food to those in need. "Currently we give out over 9,000 food bags to families and 1,450 lunches for the homeless every month," he said. Through sales of merchandise at a recently renovated thrift store, donations of furniture, clothing and household items result in income to supplement expenses of the food distribution program.

"We assist local churches and families with emergency needs with no questions asked or restrictions," said Bevers. For example, families in a housing crisis can receive support with motel vouchers or first-month's rent to keep them in a safe dwelling. The local food bank and thrift store is a lifeline for many in the communities of Fremont, Newark and Union City. In the midst of the current recession and associated sharp rises in unemployment and underemployment, families are faced with fewer resources to address their most basic needs. Demand for food has increased dramaticaly. "Our homeless lunch program has risen 70 percent," said Bevers.

Donations of cash, clothing, home furnishings, food or volunteer time are urgently needed and appreciated. Donations are accepted at 37350 Joseph Street, Fremont.

Food Bank hours
8:30 a.m. to noon
1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Thrift Store hours
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Closed Saturday and Sunday

Tri-City Volunteers, Inc.
37350 Joseph Street, Fremont
(510) 793-4583

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