Oakland Library and World Central Kitchen Pair to Distribute Free Meals in East Oakland; City Council Passes Emergency Sick Leave

A diverse group of people wearing masks is standing in front of the 81st Ave library in East Oakland with their hands up and socially distanced.
The Oakland Public Library, 81st Avenue Branch, is handing out free meals courtesy of World Central Kitchen three times a week.

Additional Food Distribution in East Oakland: Salvation Army and 81st Avenue Branch of the OPL

Food insecurity is still very prevalent. There are several more places offering food distribution.

Salvation Army and Acts Full Gospel Church: Saturday, May 15

This Saturday, May 15, The Salvation Army COVID-19 Emergency Drive-Thru Food Distribution will take place from 9am-1pm at ACTS Full Gospel Church. “The first 1000 families to drive through will receive a food box of non-perishable food items plus a $20 Safeway Gift Card.  The food and gift card have been donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” Bring a government ID and vehicle for the drive through. Questions? Contact Major James Sullivan, 510.383.9300 x 1201 or at james.sullivan@usw.salvationarmy.org.

Oakland Library Staff Distributing Meals Three Times a Week

Oakland Library staff have stepped up to hand out prepared meals. “Free meal pick-up at the 81st Ave Branch every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 12-2 PM. There are no eligibility requirements to receive food. Food is donated by @wckitchen. OPL staff have been deployed as disaster service workers and have served over 1,000 meals in the first week of this program. We’re happy to help keep Oakland fed during these trying times.”

World Central Kitchen is the organization started by Chef and activist José Andrés, who is working with local Oakland restaurateurs and chefs to make prepped meals in boxes to give away to essential workers. Now, some of these meals will be distributed at the 81st Avenue Branch in East Oakland three times a week.


City Council Stalls Police Commission Oversight Ordinance, Bans Flavored Tobacco Sales, and Passes Emergency Sick Leave

According to Court House News, the debated amendment to an ordinance to increase the power of the independent Police Commission has been stalled. Sponsored by Council President Rebecca Kaplan and supported by Councilman Dan Kalb, it is opposed by Mayor Libby Schaaf. The ordinance may be amended and voted on again. It sounds like the Police Commission will have to rework the amendment, and Kaplan suggested that “the council might strip the proposal down so it only gives the commission power to hire and fire its own inspector general and legal staff. Those are the two least controversial parts of the proposed ballot measure,” according to the report.

The council unanimously passes the emergency sick leave policy, which would guarantee up to 80 hours of sick leave, reports the East Bay Times. “Thao said the ordinance will ensure that ‘every full-time worker has 80 hours of sick pay compensated at their normal wage level so if they are exposed to COVID-19, they can take the time to get better without financial hardship. By allowing workers exposed to COVID-19 to self-isolate without fear of financial hardship, this ordinance will also slow the spread of the virus.'”

The council also unanimously voted to ban flavored tobacco sales. Before, there was a loophole where stores could have an “adults” section to sell flavored tobacco. According to CBS SF Bay Area news, the city had 56 such tobacco stores operating in Oakland. Councilman Larry Reid notes in the article that flavored tobacco is often aimed at youth and is a gateway to a smoking addition: “‘We know that menthol and flavored tobacco is a gateway to becoming addicted to regular cigarettes,’ Reid said. ‘Four out of five youth smokers started with a flavored product.'”

Participate in UC Berkeley’s COVID-19 Study

UC Berkeley recently began recruiting residents of several Bay Area cities in the first phase of a study on COVID-19. The research will look at asymptomatic spread of coronavirus in the Bay Area. “In the first phase of this study, all households in the East Bay communities of Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Pinole, Kensington and Hercules are invited to participate.” Visit the study’s website for more information.

Author Profile

Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Oakland Voices Co-Director. Her work focuses on healthcare, immigration, education, Asian American communities, food and culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Momo has received journalism awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for investigative reporting and the Asian American Journalists Association, among others. Her work has appeared in the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, and The New York Times. Momo is primarily a print journalist who also produces audio and visual stories for documentary film and radio. She is a Senior Contributing Editor for Hyphen and formerly the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. COVID-19 in Oakland: Updates and Resources - Oakland Voices
  2. Oakland's Melrose Branch Library Workers During COVID-19: Photo Essay by William Truong - Oakland Voices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.