Extend a Helping Hand (or Two)

During the holidays, Alamedans have really shared the spirit of giving.

In November, for instance, the Alameda Food Bank received 750 turkeys, well above and beyond the 700 that the organization was hoping for.

But times are still tough. So, if possible, stop by the food bank with any non-perishable leftovers or other items that might serve a family in need.

The food bank is located at 1900 Thau Way (at Constitution Way) — to share whatever you can. The hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; ¬†11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on the second and third Saturday of every month.

There are spots to drop off food around town, too, such as at the Alameda Main Library and in Alameda Town Centre (at Color Me Mine).

And feel free to get creative when reaching out.

After watching a movie about a homeless man in Los Angeles, “The Soloist,” over the holidays, I found myself helping Mary and her three children collect cardboard boxes this weekend on Lincoln Avenue.

The family also was asking for glass bottles, milk containers and other recyclables that can be exchanged for cash at area recycling centers. I went through my recycling bin to pitch in and then found a few more residents willing to do the same.

I understand that some community members may not want others to go through their trashcans. So, as I have seen some residents do in Oakland, just put the recyclables that may be worth some change, in a separate bag or container, if you can. And you might try doing the same with your old cardboard.

It’s quite likely that someone in need, such as Mary and her three kids, ¬†would be more than happy to take care of those discarded items — and doing so might be more helpful to them than you might imagine.

Janet Levaux