The Amador St. Hope Center shows Vallejo neighbors you care

Two volunteers hand out food at a Food Bank partner agency.

“Your loved one is here,” a volunteer says, and Donisha Patterson springs into action.

Each week the Amador Street Hope Center distributes food to more than 100 households in Vallejo. Most neighbors take home pre-packed bags, but for those with special health and dietary needs – like the older man who’s just arrived – organizer Donisha likes to take extra care. 

“We might not have everything [he can eat], but I’ll give him what I have,” she says as she packs a special bag with peanut butter, oatmeal, applesauce and other foods that her neighbor is able to enjoy. 

It’s just one of the ways our partners at the Hope Center – one of 260 nonprofits we partner with throughout Contra Costa and Solano Counties – go the extra mile to make their neighbors feel special. 

“We strive to give them what they need at the time, whether that might be a conversation, whether that might be a hug,” Donisha says. “We just try to give them whatever they might need that we have to give to them.” 

Partnerships add a personal touch

When you support the Food Bank, you’re also supporting agencies like Amador Street Hope Center. Donisha estimates about 75% of the food she distributes each month is supplied by the Food Bank and supporters like you – with more coming from
our grocery recovery program.

These partnerships not only help us deliver your support to every corner of our community – they also ensure that support arrives in ways that meet our neighbors’ diverse needs. That includes the need all of us have to be seen as individuals with our own stories, likes and dislikes. 

For Donisha, providing food and personalized care go hand-in-hand. 

“If we get, for example, sausage and we know that someone loves sausage, we’ll try to save some to make that individual feel unique and special,” she says. But even more than that, she wants people who come to the Hope Center feel like they’re part of a community that wants to care for them.

“Some people come here like, ‘oh I feel so bad that I have to be here to get food from you guys – I’m really short this month, but I feel this is for people who really need it,’” she says. “No, if you’re here you need it! If they need it one time or if they need it going forward, I make them feel happy about receiving and us giving.” 

In turn, she’s seen so many of her neighbors find ways to give back to the community that’s supported them – whether it’s using some of the food they receive to make a snack for the Hope Center’s volunteers, or becoming volunteers themselves. 

“We all try to help each other in different ways,” Donisha says. “It’s full circle.” 

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