Bay Area Rescue Mission preps for ‘Community Block Party’

Bay Area Rescue Mission preps for 'Community Block Party'
Bay Area Rescue Mission truck parked at Nevin Community Center. (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

Amid a challenging economic climate that has taken a toll on Richmond residents, the Bay Area Rescue Mission (BARM) is hosting a Community Block Party Sat., Oct. 29 to offer some key resources and smiles along the way.

Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Nevin Park, 6th St. and Nevin Ave. in Richmond, the Community Block Party will be a literal “free for all,” said BARM, with free hamburgers, hot dogs, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones and groceries, and also free haircuts, blood pressure screenings, raffles, music and games, including bouncy jumpers and more. “It’s a party where attendees don’t have to spend a penny, and instead, walk away with food, clothes, referrals and smiles,” said BARM in a statement.

As part of the Community Block Party with a purpose, BARM said it will offer “a pop-up boutique with free clothes from our donations along with free bags of groceries: fresh veggies, bread and staples.” Be sure to register in advance for the free boutique shopping and groceries here.

Also at Nevin Park that day will be the Contra Costa Health Department, which will provide referrals to drug and alcohol treatment programs, as well as education, insurance and financial assistance resources.

From a past Bay Area Rescue Mission event (Photo credit: Kathy Chouteau)

President and CEO of BARM Bram Begonia said that they’re aware most of their neighbors in Richmond’s Iron Triangle neighborhood have been severely impacted by the economic downturn because “dozens come to our ‘farmers market’ every day for free groceries so their families don’t go hungry.”

Begonia added that, with the Community Block Party, the organization wants to reach out to those who are struggling to offer “a day of free food and fun while providing much needed goods and services…giggles and groceries all at once.”

Community members wishing to shop at BARM’s free boutique or pick up a bag of groceries during the Community Block Party must pre-register online. Volunteers are needed for the event; call BARM at (510) 215-4869 or email [email protected].

The BARM serves thousands of impoverished men, women and children annually with crucial services such as food, clothing, shelter, recovery programs, life/job skills training, job placement, family reconciliation and counseling. Learn more or donate here.