Hunger at Home Evolves Model Following COVID-19
When Ewell Sterner brought Hunger at Home to the Bay Area in 2016, the main mission of the association was food waste collection – collecting unused meals from stadiums, hotels and banquet centers and bringing them to associations which fed the hungry. When COVID-19 hit, and those sources largely darkened, Sterner and COO Dinari Brown began feeding people directly, enlisting a team of chefs and hospitality workers to provide thousands of meals. every day to the hungry.
Now, the association is pivoting again with two new programs: a catering service called Hunger at Home Full Circle and Hunger at Home Connects, which offers hospitality and cooking training to community members and clients of its partners at non-profit.
“We provide culinary training and life skills,” Sterner said. “We’ll teach people to do things like take perishable food and make it non-perishable, like take tomatoes and make barbecue sauce. “
Sterner says the programs operate at the “teach a man to fish” level because Hunger at Home will help place graduates of the 10-week program into jobs in the hospitality industry – helping to break the cycle of poverty and reduce the pressure on nonprofit meals from vendors like Martha’s Kitchen, Loaves & Fishes and Hunger at Home itself, which has distributed 6.9 million meals since the start of the pandemic.
“We were serving 1,500 meals a day during the pandemic for Project Roomkey,” said Brown, referring to the state’s plan to house homeless people vulnerable to COVID in unused hotel rooms. “When we saw this decline and the city and county started using other services, we had a team that was ready to cook 1,500 meals a day, but we didn’t need to, as a organization, to provide that. . “
Brown suggested the idea that became Hunger at Home Full Circle, a social catering business that generates income for the nonprofit while creating jobs for its clients.
But to keep up with all this growth – and keep up with the continuing meal distributions – Hunger at Home must find a new home. The San Jose Conservation Corps and Charter School, which provided Hunger at Home with the use of its location on Berger Drive, needs to reclaim its space, and Sterner and Brown say they need to find a space where their new programs can. take root.
Hunger at Home had planned to showcase the skills of the Full Circle team at an outdoor Bridge the Gap gala scheduled for September 18 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, but Sterner announced last week that he had decided to ‘organize a driving event – which he also did last year – on October 30 at a location to be determined. “The safety and comfort of all of our guests, staff and volunteers is our greatest concern, and given the current environment, we believe this change is significant,” said Sterner.
You can follow the Hunger at Home programs and watch updates on the Bridge the Gap gala at www.hungerathome.org.
CHANGES IN THE AIR: Hunger at Home isn’t the only group to change event format due to recent COVID-19 spikes. U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren’s annual fundraising barbecue was scheduled to take place at History Park in San Jose on September 12, but it has now become a virtual event on September 19. Considering how many fan hands Lofgren is expected to shake at the event, it was probably a wise and prudent move.
And the Stroke Awareness Foundation has decided to take its 10th annual Fight Stroke Walk from an in-person event at the Municipal Rose Garden to a virtual event, as it did last year. The date, October 10, has remained the same, and you can register to participate in www.AVCinfo.org.
VEHICLES AND VACCINES: The Santos Family Car Show at Alviso on Saturday is an event yet to take place outdoors, and it will have an added edge. San Jose City Council Member David Cohen has partnered with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in conjunction with the show. The clinic will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Hoppe Street between Gold and Liberty streets; the auto show takes place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hope it is also popular. While Santa Clara County’s overall vaccination rate is nearly 82%, the rate in Alviso – in mid-August, according to a report from the city of San Jose – was below 42%, the lowest in the city.