Food Shelf Programs
The Neighborhood Food Shelf, a critical part of our food programming, had more than 80,000 client contacts in 2015 and distributed 516,000 pounds of food. Each afternoon, Monday through Thursday, 20-35 people with food needs are interviewed. A Wednesday evening session provides food shelf hours to make it more accessible for working people who are an increasing percentage of our clientele.
CES prepare food boxes each month with a variety of staple items as well as some ethnically specific, culturally acceptable food items. We provide outreach through two programs, our weekly East African Food Distribution (which now extends to all East Africans) and our Home Delivery Program, as well as through our weekly Free Food Distribution.
Since 2003, CES has been giving a wide variety of fresh produce and healthier choices free of charge through Bonus Friday to a wide variety of people. There are no boundaries or requirements such as proof of residency or an ID that is usually required at the food shelf. On Fridays, 150-275 households receive food assistance through the free produce and food line. In 2010, through several grants, CES acquired a walk-in freezer and cooler allowing us to acquire and then distribute meat and fresh produce on a consistent basis.