This Week’s Food Closet Needs and Volunteer Opportunities:

This week’s news and requests.  This week a special update from two of the Food Closet’s (FCs) wonderful volunteer mangers – Charlotte and Shirley. They note that there are many new faces recently at the FC including individuals and families from Ukraine, Turkey and South America. In this excerpt Charlotte explains how language barriers are overcome to help these customers.

“We are growing every week with new single clients and families flocking to the doors for assistance. It’s wonderful to see new faces, yet sad because there are so many in need for services; which we are grateful to assist wholeheartedly. We’ve noticed a great many with passports and strong accents! I hold up my hand in a motion to stop; letting them know to wait while I get my phone to open the app for Google Translate. I show it to them while we find their language and start communicating; works every time! You should see the smile on their faces when we’re able to converse with one another. It is truly a blessing; to say the least. I think the hardest one to translate with, as far as reading their names through the translation lens, are people from war-torn areas, because (that) lettering is completely different when I’m trying to put it into English form. But, we DO get it accomplished; we just have to be patient.” And also from Charlotte – “It truly warms my heart to know that the congregation at St. Mark’s has such a great, compassionate empathy for our clients in need.”

Volunteers Needed: Helping hands are needed at the Downtown Streets Food Closet. No food preparation skills are needed – the FC distributes free donated and predominantly prepackaged food to its customers. Needed skill set for a volunteer is a pleasant, patient person with good social skills. Fluency in Mandarin would be beneficial as well. High school students over 15 are welcome to serve too. All Covid protocols are strictly enforced. Volunteers must be vaccinated and boosted.

Available volunteer openings are:
Monday and Wednesday – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.***
Tuesday and Thursday – 12:00 – 2:30 pm.***
Friday – 12:00 – 2:30 p.m.
Please contact Charlotte Coker at (408)591-7539 or for *** these days.
Contact Shirley Reiter at (650)704-9813 or for the other days.

Drop off donations at the Food Closet. The Diocese allows food pantries to remain open during Covid. All Saints Food Closet is taking precautions to protect staff, volunteers, customers and donors using a protocol from Second Harvest, the main Food Closet donor. The address and new hours are: 425 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto – M, T, W, F: 9 am-2:30 pm Thursday: 9 am to 2:30 pm (except 12 pm to 1 pm when closed for staff meeting ). Access via the blue side door that opens onto Hamilton Street. Please call ahead – (650) 325-3663 to let them know you are coming. Please do not drop off food after hours – it brings up a variety of concerns as people often congregate unsafely after hours to go through the food.

Donating by Check: You can also donate by check. Check donations will be used to purchase needed shortfall items. Please write a check to the Downtown Streets Team, and write in the memo line “For Food Closet”.
Checks can be mailed to:
Project Manager
Downtown Streets Team,
1671 The Alameda, Suite 306,
San Jose, CA 9512

Current Donations Requests

Creamy or crunchy peanut butter (not the oily organic kind please)

Packets of instant oats
Instant coffee
Quaker Oats
Non-food items:Brown grocery bags with handles
Ziplock bags: sandwich and snack sizes
Blue newspaper delivery sleeves
Rubber bands