Local food resources during coronavirus closures

Farmers' market-style food giveaway launched in San Pablo
Photo credit: Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

UPDATE: Story has been updated to reflect the latest changes to WCCUSD’s meal sites plan.

As local officials strive to suppress the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) through containment—including the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), which closed its schools for three weeks—resources are being put in place for residents in need of nutritional support.

Here’s an overview of a number of food access sites available throughout Richmond:

WCCUSD School Meal Sites

Starting Monday, March 16, the WCCUSD will distribute meals between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday until Friday, April 3 (or until further notice). Per the district, children under 18, regardless of the school they attend or socioeconomic status, can pick up food to-go at the following locations throughout West Contra Costa County during school closures:

  • Pinole Valley High School, 2900 Pinole Valley Road, Pinole, CA 94564
  • De Anza High School, 5000 Valley View Road, Richmond, CA 94803
  • Richmond High School, 1250 – 23rd Street, Richmond, CA 94804
  • Kennedy High School, 4300 Cutting Blvd., Richmond, CA 94804
  • Helms Middle School, 2500 Road 20, San Pablo, CA 94806
  • DeJean Middle School, 3400 Macdonald Ave., Richmond, CA 94805
  • Montalvin Elementary School, 300 Christine Drive, San Pablo, CA 94806
  • Riverside Elementary School, 1300 Amador Street, San Pablo, CA 94806
  • Nystrom Elementary School, 230 Harbour Way South, Richmond, CA 94804

According to the school district, food can be picked up, but not eaten, at the distribution points. The WCCUSD serves approximately 28,000 students in transitional kindergarten to twelfth grade. Nearly 72 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price meals. For more info, visit the district’s website here.

Food Bank

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano offers excellent food resources for Richmond residents of all ages, such as a Community Produce Program, Food Assistance Program, Food for Children and Senior Food Program. Program schedules follow (please check for income guidelines):

According to the Food Bank’s website, the Community Produce Program provides 15-20 pounds of free fresh produce to low-income families and individuals twice per month. Residents can visit one location and should bring two bags with handles to carry the produce. Community Produce Program locations in Richmond include:

  • Richmond Annex Senior Center, 5801 Huntington Ave., first & third Monday, 10-11 a.m.;
  • Richmond Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 968 23rd , first & third Monday, 12-1: p.m.;
  • Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Ave., second & fourth Tuesday, 10-11 a.m.;
  • North Richmond Missionary Baptist, 1427 Fred Jackson Way, first & third Thursday, 12-1 p.m.;
  • West County Courthouse, 39th Street & Bissell Ave., Richmond, first & third Thursday, 2-3 p.m.;
  • Living Hope Neighborhood Church, 2800 Rheem Ave, first & third Saturday, 10-11 a.m.;
  • Sojourner Truth, 2621 Shane Dr., first & third Saturday, 12-1 p.m.;
  • Kennedy High School, 4300 Cutting Blvd., first & third Saturday, 2-3 p.m.; and
  • Booker T. Anderson, 960 South 47th St., second & fourth Saturday, 12-1 p.m.

The Food Bank’s Food Assistance Program offers free groceries once per month for low-income individuals and families. Richmond residents should bring a picture ID and proof of address (i.e., a PG&E bill) to the following locations:

  • North Richmond Missionary Baptist, 1427 Fred Jackson Way, third Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.;
  • Southside Church of Christ, 1501 Florida Ave., fourth Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Food Bank’s Food for Children provides boxes of healthy food for free every month for children ages 4-6 years old at:

  • WIC San Pablo, 501 Gateway Ave., San Pablo, last Friday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Richmond residents should be ready to provide a picture ID, proof of address and proof of their child’s birthday, per the Food Bank’s website.)

Per the Food Bank, residents may also qualify for CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps) and they will help you apply, as well as offer assistance in finding emergency food at one of their partner pantries or soup kitchens. Find out more by calling the Food Bank at 1-855-309-FOOD (3663). Visit the Food Bank’s website here.

Food Pantries & Shelters

A number of other nutritional resources are available throughout Richmond at shelters and food pantries.

The Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) a great resource for people in need. Among the shelter’s diverse range of services are the hot meals it serves every day, which are available between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. GRIP is located at:

  • 165 22nd, Richmond. Contact GRIP at 510- 233-2141 or click here for more info.

Richmond’s Bay Area Rescue Mission is another excellent resource for those needing access to food and other emergency services. Dinner for men, women and children is served nightly at 6 p.m. at:

  • 200 Macdonald Ave., Richmond. Contact 510-215-4555 or learn more here.

Aside from the aforementioned shelters, you can contact these food pantry locations throughout Richmond for info about nutritional support. They include:

  • All Nations COGICA, 1225 York St., 510-232-6441;
  • David’s Pantry—St. Mark’s Gymnasium, 159 Harbor Way, 925-757-4099 (for the County rep);
  • Central City Ministries, 1230 Bissell Ave., 510-215-0227;
  • North Richmond Missionary Baptist Church, 1427 Filbert St., 510-232-7751;
  • New Gethsemane COGIC, 2100 Roosevelt St., 510-620-9628;
  • Word Impact Ministries, 607 South 19th St. (food pantry location), 925-932-7791;
  • Richmond Grace Lutheran Church, 2369 Barrett Ave., 510-235-9732;
  • Hope for the Homeless, 1410 Kelsey St., 510-965-5867;
  • All West Contra Costa/Richmond Food Pantry (at Richmond Grace Lutheran Church), 2369 Barrett Ave., 925-676-7543.

At this time, an administrator at the Richmond Public Library said there are NO current plans to offer food resources to the community, but they have done so in the past. Check here for library updates.

Know of a food resource we didn’t mention here? Tell us about it in the comments.

UPDATE: The WCCUSD has changed the locations and times when students can pick up school meals. The story has been updated to reflect those changes.