SAN JOSE, CA - The Sharks Foundation (@SJSCommunity) and SAP (@SAP_BayArea) have partnered to provide a $500,000 grant to local non-profit organization CityTeam (@CityTeam) to fund and launch the Alameda County Mobile Food Pantry Expansion Project. The project, an extension of CityTeam's current model that establishes food distribution locations in underserved neighborhoods throughout Santa Clara County, will strategically select 18 different sites across Alameda County to provide disadvantaged community members with fresh and accessible groceries on a bi-monthly basis. The multi-year partnership begins now and will continue through the 2022-23 NHL Hockey Season.
"We are honored to partner with SAP and CityTeam on this vital and timely expansion in support of those in greatest need in our community," said Heather Hooper, Director of Community Relations & the Sharks Foundation."
To expand into the East Bay, CityTeam partner with Alameda County Community Food Bank to identify sites across Alameda County that represent those with the greatest need. Food for the mobile pantry will also be sourced through ACCFB. As part of the Sharks Foundation and SAP grant, funds will be used to purchase a new refrigerated box truck and to cover labor expenses required to make deliveries possible. In years two and three of the partnership, funding will allow CityTeam to launch additional projects in tandem with the food pantries including a Community Clothing Program and addressing the digital divide by providing access to technology for some residents.
"Families throughout the Bay Area are in real need of safe and reliable ways to get quality food on their tables," said Anamarie Franc, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Bay Area. "At SAP, we believe in the power of partnership and are proud to work with CityTeam on the innovative Mobile Food Pantry that brings food to communities so that nobody seeking support goes hungry. We've seen this program succeed in Santa Clara County and know it will have a big impact in Alameda County."
As part of its five-year strategic plan to help end hunger in Silicon Valley, CityTeam has been eager to expand its mobile food distribution model into Alameda County and to close the gap in households with unmet needs. As reported by the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Urban Institute in November of 2019, 1 in 5 Alameda County residents' experiences or is at risk of hunger - a ratio which has grown to at least 1 in 4 people due to the pandemic.
"When I came to CityTeam four years ago, we made a strategic decision to increase our focus on families struggling to make ends meet. We could not be more excited about the opportunity to fulfill that promise even further, thanks to support from the Sharks Foundation, SAP, and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Together, we can now help even more moms, dads, kids, and seniors, in our community. This innovative partnership enables us to provide nutritious food, as well as relief and hope during a time when family budgets are stretched past their limits," added Glen Peterson, CityTeam President and CEO.
Later this year, representatives and volunteers from the Sharks Foundation, SAP, and CityTeam will meet in Alameda County to distribute food to community members in need. Details will be announced later.
The $500,000 grant for the Alameda County Mobile Food Pantry Expansion Project represents a growing partnership between the Sharks Foundation, SAP and CityTeam. In 2020, the Sharks Foundation and SAP provided a $34,000 Community Assist Grant to sponsor CityTeam's Santee Neighborhood Mobile Food Pantry at Esperanza Middle School for an entire year. The partnership allowed for more than 9,500 lbs. of food, which included grocery dry goods, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy products (made possible through a partnership with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley), to be provided to 150-200 underserved families on a bi-weekly basis. Additionally, the Sharks Foundation and SAP helped fund CityTeam's December Holiday Gift and Grocery Card Giving Event this past December.