CLEARLAKE— Lake County is no stranger to collaborations to address the needs of the community. During the current crisis, several organizations have collaborated to deliver food to those in Lake County who are most at risk for contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Food will be packed into bags by volunteers, loaded onto buses provided by Lake Transit Authority, and delivered to people’s homes two to three times per week. Lake County residents are encouraged to call (707) 993-4644 to apply for food deliveries with bilingual specialists ready to take their call.
The idea for this project started with the desire to reduce the amount of traffic going to the grocery stores while serving some of Lake County’s most vulnerable residents. Many people can’t shop for themselves and those who are symptomatic should be given the resources they need to stay home. “Our aim was to bring organizations together with similar goals and the right resources to bring this idea to fruition,” said NCO Community Projects Director, Robyn Bera. “Soon enough we had a ‘virtual’ table of exceptional partners ready to brainstorm and contribute to the project.”
Two critical components of the project were access to food and food delivery. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, with many years of experience with food distribution and food pantries, quickly offered their expertise with food ordering, transportation and packing. Meanwhile, Lake Transit offered to support food delivery. “Bus drivers have a strong connection and commitment to the residents of Lake County, and we’ve been looking for ways to support the needs of the community in this crisis,” says Lake Transit’s Executive Director, Lisa Davey-Bates.
The County of Lake: Department of Social Services is supporting the Food Project Hotline at (707) 993-4544 (during regular business hours). North Coast Opportunities is coordinating deliveries with clients, verifying and creating routes, and providing volunteers for food packing. Other partners include: Hope Crisis Response Network, Hope Rising Lake County, Lake County Office of Education, Lake County Tribal Health, and Partnership Health Plan.
Any resident may call the Food Project Hotline at (707) 993-4544. Priority will be given to those who are symptomatic, medically vulnerable, without transportation, and with lost wages. Seniors over the age of 60 should contact their local senior centers or call (888) 681-6822 to set up a meal or food delivery.
This project requires ongoing financial support, as of this writing, Lake County Hunger Task Force had just contributed $1000. All contributions are greatly appreciated.
Volunteers can be used to pack food boxes, but funds are needed to purchase food for those in our community who must stay home. Agencies, individuals or community groups wishing to support this effort are encouraged to contact Robyn Bera at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 278-8696. Or, click here to donate online. In addition, checks can be mailed to NCO at 413 North State Street Ukiah, CA 95482 with a memo added for “Lake County Community Food Drive”.
Donations can also be made online. Here is a link for an online donation page: https://ncoinc.networkforgood.com/projects/97823-lake-county-community-food-drive-covid-19-relief
NCO is the Community Action Agency that serves Lake and Mendocino Counties, as well as parts of Humboldt, Sonoma, Del Norte, and Solano Counties. NCO reacts and adjusts to community needs, including disaster response and recovery.
For more information visit www.ncoinc.org or call (707) 467-3200.