Published April 18, 2006
Volume 14, Number 4

Open Heart Kitchen Provides Nutritious Meals to Area Children, Families, Seniors

Helping those in need is the mission of Open Heart Kitchen, a non-profit meal service which provides nutritious, prepared food to children, seniors, families, and individuals in Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore.

Open Heart Kitchen serves over 3,000 meals every week, each of which includes a protein, a starch, fresh vegetables, green salad, fruit, beverages, and dessert. The organization offers several programs, all targeted at families that earn less than $18,000 per year. Open Heart Kitchen provides its community services through various programs:

The Hot Meal Program typically serves multi-generational families, where grandparents, parents, children, aunts and uncles live under the same roof. The East Livermore Hot Meal Program, Open Heart Kitchen’s flagship program, has been in operation for almost 10 years and offers meals each Tuesday and Wednesday. Similarly, the North Livermore Hot Meal Program offers meals on Thursdays while the Pleasanton community is served on Fridays.

The Weekend Box Lunch Program’s goal is to provide lunches for children from low-income families who qualify for meal assistance at school during the week. Open Heart distributes box lunches on Fridays to these children, ensuring they have mid-day meals over the weekend. A similar program, the Summer Lunch and Fun Program, operates as a joint venture with the Livermore school district on weekdays after school lets out in June.

Open Heart Kitchen also operates the Ridgeview Senior Meal Program, which provides meals for area senior citizens residing in Ridgeview Commons in Pleasanton.

Open Heart Kitchen relies on community support and, thanks to some innovative thinking, it’s now easier to contribute to Open Heart Kitchen’s efforts than ever before. In March, the group began collecting donations of fresh produce at the Pleasanton Farmers’ Market, which takes place downtown every Saturday. This presence at the popular market, which draws approximately 4,000 people each week in the summer, will enable shoppers to share nutritional, farm-fresh items with those who might not otherwise be able to enjoy them, simply by dropping off their fresh fruits and vegetables in convenient donation boxes at the market.

The group has also enjoyed broad support from corporate and non-profit donors, including the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, the Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign, the Safeway Foundation, Robert Half International, and the United Way. The group also offers a number of hands-on volunteer opportunities.

For additional information on Open Heart Kitchen, contact Carol Beddome, executive director, at (925) 580-1616. Their web site is at www.openheartkitchen.org.


Also in this issue ...