Oakland, CA

Oakland church seeks volunteers for monthly distribution of food in Lake Merritt area

D.J. Eaton

Lake Merritt United Methodist Church runs a food pantry.Photo byShelley PaulsonUnsplash

Volunteers are wanted for the food pantry of Oakland's Lake Merritt United Methodist Church. The food pantry needs volunteers to help distribute food on the fourth Saturday of each month.

On the Friday before the event, volunteers help make preparations from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. On the day of the distribution, volunteers work from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. On Saturdays, volunteers help register clients, distribute food and clean up. Those interested in volunteering can schedule a time at Eventbrite.

The pantry also needs volunteer interpreters to help visitors whose first language is Cantonese, Mandarin or Vietnamese. Those interested in interpreting can email liftconcertoakland@gmail.com.

Rather than hand out packages of groceries, the food pantry allows people to make their own selection of food items. The food pantry's work is done in partnership with the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the church supplies bag lunches and hygiene supplies to nearby homeless people. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., the items are taken on wagons to people living by the lake. On Tuesdays, bag lunches are also made available in the church parking lot at 1:00 p.m. Those interested in volunteering for these activities can sign up at Eventbrite. Those wishing to provide materials for the lunches and hygiene kits can find lists of needed items online.

The church encourages those in need of food to contact foodnow.net or call the Emergency Food Helpline at (800) 870-3663.

The Lake Merritt United Methodist Church resulted when two central Oakland churches – First United Methodist Church, and St. Stephens United Methodist Church – merged in 1984.

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