West Oakland Food Pantry now
operated by HOW.org
(Helping Others Win)
“Addressing Hunger and Food Security in West Oakland”
LaMel Smith, HOW.org Food Pantry Manager
The West Oakland Food Pantry (WOFP) was established in 2007 and provides healthy, nutritional food to West Oakland families. In February 2023, PJC transferred the operations of the WOFP to HOW.org (Helping Others Win) operated by former PJC West Oakland Food Pantry Manager LaMel Smith.
CONTACT: LaMel Smith, LaMel@helpingothers-win.org
History of the former West Oakland Food Pantry
In 2007, several food pantries closed, including Women’s Economic Agenda Project (WEAP), Catholic Charities, St. Patrick, and Mt. Zion. This left a significant gap in emergency food services for a community that was already plagued with high poverty and unemployment rates. To fill the increasing gap in food security, the Prescott-Joseph Center established the West Oakland Food Panty. This food safety net program is one initiative to help alleviate hunger and strengthen individuals and families living in West Oakland. There is an estimated 31,118 West Oakland residents with 38% living below the poverty level and approximately half of the households with an annual income of less than $20,000. WOFP and PJC provides support to families who are in need of emergency food and other essential supplies.
In partnership with the Alameda County Food Bank, and thanks to the generous support of the Crescent-Porter-Hale Foundation, Amazon, Kaiser, and individual donations, we are making a difference.
Our food distribution also provides food to those individuals participating in our other programs, including seniors, pre preschool families, after school youth soccer families, and our community partners. The WOFP is also a community diaper distribution site for families in need.
During COVID-19, the WOFP distributes food every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the 4th Saturday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, our Food Pantry Manager, LaMel Smith and a team of dedicated volunteers deliver food to the homeless encampments.
In a recent report from the Alameda County Food Bank, between January 1, 2020 and April 13, 2020, the WOFP distributed 2,586,806 pounds of food. The WOFP serves 900-1,000 individuals each week.
Alameda County Food Bank
Information and Referral Line
CalFresh Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
CalFresh Informational Page
Please Support Our Food Pantry!
Turkeys and Toys: With your help, we can distribute turkeys and toys to needy families during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons.
Food: fresh produce, frozen meats and fish, canned goods, cereal, juice, rice, pasta, snacks, etc.
Financial Support to purchase additional food items to meet the needs of the community.
Freezer: Given our increased distributions, we need an additional freezer.