LIVERMORE, Calif. (KRON) — A food pantry in Livermore was forced to close early this week due to anticipated power outages across the East Bay, according to the organization Tri-Valley Haven.
TVH is a community organization which serves adults and children who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or homelessness. TVH maintains a 30-bed domestic violence shelter, a 16-bed homeless shelter, a food pantry, and a thrift store in the Livermore area.
TVH received a notice on Tuesday the block where the food pantry is located would be impacted by a potential power outage. After receiving the notice, TVH chose to close the food pantry early for the remainder of the week, but the staff had concerns, “We were very nervous to close down…We won’t do it again because clients rely on us. The last thing we want is someone coming and us not being open,” said Christine Dillman, the Acting Executive Director for TVH.
This wasn’t the only impact the heat wave had on TVH’s community members. There was an 16-hour power outage overnight in one of TVH’s shelters this week. All of the shelter’s food was spoiled as a result. Since TVH has a full-service food pantry, all of the clients at the shelter were able to replenish their food supply for free.
Dillman says this week’s heat wave and power outages shed more light on what kind of infrastructure the new shelter should have, including backup generators. “Our goal is to make it really energy efficient. We’re hoping to have it be green and offer solar and be sustainable.,” Dillman tells KRON4.
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TVH’s domestic violence shelter is the only confidential one in the area and is unique because it offers spaces to boys over the age of 11, “A woman fleeing abuse often can’t take teenage boys, she would have to leave her child with the abuser, which is an untenable decision for a mother to have to make,” Dillman said.
TVH works on an empowerment model, helping guests who come through its shelters to become more self sufficient. This model is built into everything, including making selections at the food pantry, “We changed our model to be client choice, so clients get to pick what food is right for them. We’re giving away a lot more produce and a lot less canned food,” Dillman told KRON4.
TVH has been maintaining the food pantry for over 20 years, but moved into it’s new location at 150 N L Street about six months ago. The pantry works with 14 local grocery stores that donate fresh foods regularly. Though there is an earnings cutoff for receiving certain services with TVH, the pantry is open to whoever is in need. “If someone comes by and says that they need food, we are not going to turn them away,” Dillman said.
TVH has plans to build a new domestic violence shelter after a fundraising initiative which begins next month. The goal at TVH is simple, “We want people to come into our shelter and immediately feel safe and protected…For decades to come this building will be sheltering families,” Dillman told KRON4. For more information on TVH’s available services or to donate to the cause, please visit the organization’s website.