East Palo Alto Programs Keep The Community Afloat In Tough Times
Today, we're going to meet people in East Palo Alto who have been providing people in their communities with everything from food they need to child care.
We'll talk to Lena Potts, the unit director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula's East Palo Alto Clubhouse. During the pandemic the Club teamed up with schools to create WiFi-enabled learning “hubs.” Students worked at socially-distanced desks, had access to free WiFi without distractions, and got healthy meals during the day — things they might not have if at home.
Then, we meet Nevida Butler who has been working with the Ecumenical Hunger Program since it began more than four decades ago. It began as a project to address food insecurity, but it also has a warehouse filled with everything from baby clothes to microwaves and refrigerators.
Nevida used to be the Ecumenical Hunger Program's executive director. Now, she's more like a combination of a personal shopper and a matchmaker: linking financially strapped community members to things they need. And the program is very busy — they've gone from serving 200 families a month to serving 400 families a week, redirecting supplies to people in need instead of the landfill.