Volunteers at the longtime local food bank, Oakdale Community Sharing, are celebrating a brand new facility. With plenty of room with which to work, crew members say the organization has been up and running smoothly in the brand new facility for the past several weeks.
Frank Ortiz is the new president of the Oakdale Community Sharing group and is also on the board for the Oakdale Rescue Mission.
Food banks and food pantries like Oakdale Community Sharing organize the collection of food donations and distribution to those in need. Most non-profit hunger relief organizations, including those like Oakdale Community Sharing, rely on volunteers to do the work and donations to help keep the shelves stocked.
The new building was funded by donations from the community so that the Oakdale Community Sharing organization wouldn’t have to use any of their food donation money to fund the new facility.
“We’ve been supported by the community non-stop, there are very generous people here in Oakdale,” said Ortiz.
The older building was significantly smaller and outdated compared to the new facility that was built on the same property as the previous food sharing building. The older building was demolished back in June and within a week, community members were able to move into and operate in the new facility. The new building has lots of plans for new paving, landscape and gates, doing that work a little bit at a time. Getting the framework in place to make their weekly distribution of food was of utmost importance, with volunteers not wanting to miss out on helping their clientele.
Oakdale Community Sharing is designed for Oakdale residents who may be low income or in need of some assistance. There is also a clothing closet at the Oakdale Community Sharing building; however, due to COVID-19 the clothing closet has halted operation for the time being. The distribution of food is done every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with recipients having to go through an application and an interview process. Oakdale Community Sharing is always looking for volunteers to help out as well.
Food boxes given include a combination of items, including those purchased from Second Harvest, Big Valley Church, as well as donated items from Oakdale grocery stores, Raley’s and Save Mart. Cash and check donations from the local community are also a major asset when it comes to the success of Oakdale Community Sharing.
“When we get donations we put it into a fund to purchase food,” said Ortiz. “The community is very helpful to us. They bring food donations and check donations weekly.”
Oakdale Community Sharing has been serving the Oakdale community for 63 years now and the facility itself is at 565 Center St., in Oakdale. For more information call (209) 847-3401.