In 1982, Mercy Retirement & Care Center residents saw seniors in their neighborhood going hungry. They launched the Brown Bag Program to distribute bags of groceries to hungry seniors in Oakland, CA. Today, 500+ volunteers throughout Alameda County ensure other seniors can remain self-sufficient and independent by providing nutritious food to low-income older adults.
Who qualifies for this program?
This program is open to any citizen 60 or older residing in Alameda County with an income below 232 percent of the federal poverty level.
These are the income guidelines:
One-person household, the maximum monthly income is $2,498
For a two-person household, the total monthly income is $3,376
For three or more person households, the total monthly income is $4,253
Income levels increase with additional family members.
Where is Mercy’s Brown Bag program located?
Mercy sorts, packs, and distributes groceries to older adults twice monthly at 66 sites throughout Alameda County.
The sites range from Berkeley to Newark to Livermore and in between. Qualifying individuals may contact Mercy for locations, distribution days and times.
Mercy’s staff speaks English, Spanish, Cantonese, and Mandarin.
Don’t forget this is a non-profit.
Mercy’s Brown Bag program would not exist without volunteers, donations, and grants. Volunteer opportunities include:
Working in the Common Spirit Grocery Store.
Distributing bags to homebound seniors.
Sorting food items in the warehouse.
Helping at distribution sites.
Inputting data into systems.
Translating written materials.
Assisting with special events or administrative tasks.
Finding other ways to support the program.
To learn more about how you can help, contact Mercy Brown Bag’s program.