Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to receive services provided by the Center?

The Center serves all children, men, women or families in immediate need of food or clothing or referral.

What proof of eligibility is required in order to be registered for USDA distribution?

We need to see your social security or paycheck documentation in order to prove your eligibility for the program.

What are the center’s hours of operation?

The hours of operation are Monday & Wednesday, 11am—3pm and Tuesday 9am – 1pm.

Where and when should I drop of donations to the Center?

Please drop off donations to the Center during the hours of operation.

Does Viola Blythe have a 501(c)3 number?

Yes. View our 501(c)3 determination letter.

What is the difference between a food bank and a food pantry?

Unlike pantries, food banks do not distribute food to the direct public. Pantries have the responsibility to seek out and help families receive food. Food banks have the responsibility to ensure pantries have the resources they need to feed the families seeking help. Often, food banks refer to the pantries they supply food to as partner agencies.

How can I receive food from the food pantry?

If you are in need of emergency food assistance, visit Viola Blythe Community Center at 37365 Ash Street Ash St. Newark CA or call us at (510) 794-3437.

How do individuals pick up food?

Individuals can pick up food during business hours.

How can I help?

The Viola Blythe Community Center is always in need of extra help, especially during large food drives. Please contact our Executive Director Debbie Caravalho-Rodriguez for more information.

Does the Viola Blythe Community Center charge for food?

The Viola Blythe Community Center does not charge for food.

Can the hungry get food directly from the food bank?

No. Food is collected, stored then distributed to agencies that are 501 (c) (3) organizations like Viola Blythe Community Center. If you or someone you know needs emergency food assistance, call us for help.

Does hunger really exist in the Tri-City (Newark, Fremont, Union City) Area?

In the Tri-City area, residents are at risk of experiencing hunger; a lot of them are children. With the current state of our economy, demand for our services is rapidly increasing.

Who is hungry in our community?

You might be surprised to learn that there are many working adults who are at risk of hunger – they often have to choose between paying rent, paying bills or buying food. Senior citizens, on fixed incomes, often have to choose between buying medication and food. Children are going to school with empty bellies, making it more challenging to focus and learn. Sometimes, it is the unexpected events (such as lay-offs) for families that now have to make that hard decision – on what comes first.

Why are so many people hungry?

There are many reasons that people find themselves at risk of hunger. The economy has taken its toll on the working poor – and more recently, those who once considered themselves middle class are needing food assistance. In the Tri-City (Newark, Fremont, Union City) area housing costs are soaring and low income housing is difficult to find. Utility, transportation costs, and fees also continue to increase, leaving little room in household budgets for food.

Why should I support the Viola Blythe Community Center?

In a nation as rich as ours, it is inconceivable that anyone should go hungry. The working poor are the backbone of many businesses and significantly contribute to the productivity and prosperity of our area. They live in households where typically at least one adult works, but struggles to pay for mortgage, rent, utilities, health care and food. However, many of these Americans (our friends, family members, and neighbors) go home after a long, hard day of work and often find themselves unable to meet the most basic needs of their families. By giving to the Viola Blythe Community Center you are helping the area’s most needy children, families and seniors with a basic human needs – food and clothing. Your donation will support our efforts to alleviate hunger in the Newark, Fremont, Union City area.

Where does the Viola Blythe Community Center get funding?

We receive support from many different sources including donations from individuals, corporations and foundations.

Do we need to bring anything to volunteer? What should we wear?

We ask that you dress comfortably and respectfully. A sweatshirt or extra layer is “recommended” as the temperature in our warehouse is often quite cool.

Will you pick up food I’ve collected?

We are happy to schedule a truck pick up when needed, but it is a great help to us if you can drop off your donation of food at our Service Center at 37365 Ash Street Newark CA. During the holiday season our warehouse gets very busy. Please contact us at least one week in advance of when you would like a pick up.

Do you have volunteer opportunities on the weekends?

We occasionally have special events that require volunteers on weekends. While we strive to accommodate as many volunteers as possible, we are closed most weekends. Please look at our calendar of events to see our upcoming weekend volunteer opportunities.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at the Viola Blythe Community Center!