Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa Opens Walnut Creek Dining Room to CommunityApr 11, 2021 01:03PM ● By Pam Kessler
Last spring in the height of the pandemic, Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa (LFCC) quietly opened its fifth dining room inside the Trinity Center on the ground floor of St. Paul’s Commons. It was a momentous occasion for the hunger-relief nonprofit dedicated to providing nutritious meals to anyone experiencing food insecurity in Walnut Creek. From the time when LFCC first swung open the doors to its Pittsburg dining room in 1983, volunteers have served more than five million meals to the working poor and homeless in Contra Costa County.
“Loaves and Fishes is thrilled to open its fifth dining room to serve people who need food in Walnut Creek,” said LFCC Executive Director Joleen Lafayette. “We’re especially thrilled it’s at the Trinity Center, an organization we have partnered with for years.”
Through donations, grants, and fundraisers, along with the efforts of thousands of volunteers, Loaves now operates five dining rooms in the county—Martinez, Antioch, Oakley, Pittsburg, Walnut Creek—offering anyone hungry a hot noontime meal five days a week and distributing over 302 tons of groceries each year.
Serving between 50-60 people each day, Trinity Center offers people living on the streets basic safety net services—food, clothing, showers, laundry facilities, mail delivery, telephone service, and a safe place to rest. In addition to their day program, Trinity offers case management, substance abuse counseling, a youth program, and an emergency overnight shelter during the winter.
A March Walnut Creek Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the official opening of the LFCC dining room to the public at Trinity Center. “The event marks a special moment as Trinity Center, Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa, and our community supporters celebrate and expand our partnership of hospitality in Walnut Creek,” said Leslie Gleason, Executive Director of Trinity Center. “Nothing is more foundational for our well-being than food and shelter. In these challenging and uncertain times, we jointly commit to bringing these essential resources to nourish lives and open doors to opportunity for all in our community.”
Since February 2020, LFCC’s meal count is up by 84 percent. Before the pandemic, LFCC was serving more than 600 meals a day, today the number is roughly 1500 meals a day. "In Walnut Creek we hope to capture not just the homeless population, but also low-income individuals and families impacted by the pandemic and living on the edge paycheck to paycheck. We're also a good resource for caregivers who can come and pick up meals for seniors at home," said Lafayette.
The Walnut Creek dining room is open Monday-Friday 12:00-1:15 pm, except for a few holidays throughout the year. 1888 Trinity Avenue, Walnut Creek, trinitycenterwc.org.