Tri-Valley Agencies Step up to Serve the Needy

A variety of governmental agencies and nonprofits have stepped up to provide more assistance to Tri-Valley residents in the wake of growing poverty and other needs triggered by the Covid-19 crisis. As part of a collaboration among partner agencies that include the Alameda County Social Services Agency and the Alameda County Community Food Bank, for example, a new emergency food distribution site in Pleasanton opened in June. The drive-through food pantry is located at the Alameda County Fairgrounds at 4501 Pleasanton Ave, Gate 8. Currently, it is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 AM to 3 PM or until supplies run out.

"Making sure that every person in Alameda County has access to food during this difficult time is a priority," County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who represents District 1, including Livermore and Dublin, told the Pleasanton Weekly. "I'm pleased that we are providing drive-through emergency food distribution at the Alameda Fairgrounds."

The Alameda County Social Services Agency is also offering meals to eligible older adults impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic through the Great Plates Delivered Program, which was established by the State of California in April. Great Plates Delivered has two purposes. First, to help seniors and other adults at high risk from Covid-19 by delivering them three nutritious meals a day. Second, to provide essential economic stimulus to local businesses struggling to stay afloat during the crisis. The food delivery program is designed to provide meals to Alameda County adults aged 65 and older and high-risk adults aged 60-64 who are unable to access meals while staying at home and ineligible for other nutrition programs. This is a time-limited program based on available funding.

Spectrum Community Services has long helped provide food to the needy and many other services as well. Since 1978, Spectrum has provided Alameda County seniors with nutritious meals through its Meals on Wheels program, which delivers directly to clients, and its Senior Meals program, which distributes meals for pickup at 14 locations. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Spectrum is continuing to serve seniors in need.

Enrollment for Meals on Wheels has grown by 45% in response to the pandemic, and Spectrum has shifted from "from plated, hot food distribution to a pick-up and go model," according to the organization. As part of that process, Spectrum has joined forces with a sister agency, SOS-Meals on Wheels, to cook side-by-side to produce easily distributed, chilled, individually packaged meals for the program.

"Our highly trained staff understands the needs of seniors and we are consistently there for them, beyond a meal each day," according to Spectrum executives. "During this crisis, we are continuing to serve the seniors who need us."

Spectrum is a registered, private nonprofit that assists low-income individuals, families, and seniors in their efforts to live independently. With the help of partners, it offers a wide variety of community programs and services intended to promote financial sustainability among its clients and improve the overall quality of their lives.

The nonprofit can help clients enroll in several energy programs, for example. Two programs assist families with energy costs by offering discounts on utility bills. Another program offers heater, water heater, and weatherization services every five years. Spectrum also offers a Senior Fall Prevention Program, and a variety of other services.

For more information about the Alameda County Fairgrounds Drive-Through Pantry, please visit

For more information about Great Plates Delivered, please visit

For more information about Spectrum Community Services, please visit

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