The local food pantry that helps out residents in Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove with emergency food assistance, Neighbors Organized Against Hunger, or NOAH, has found a new location — assuming safety and food delivery standards are met.
Three weeks after at Mountain Shadows Education Center, it's decided starting to move to Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, across from Rancho Cotate High School.
. The food pantry and Cross and Crown over the coming months will work with the Sonoma County Environmental Health Department to finalize the any health and safety improvements that might need to be made. The facility must be suitable for food distribution, organizers said. NOAH will pay Cross and Crown $400 for monthly rent.
NOAH is asking for funds and volunteers to make any building changes necessary.
“Cross and Crown was one of the original churches that founded NOAH," said Gail Cafferata, NOAH's board chairwoman. "The congregation has been stalwart supporters of NOAH’s efforts to provide food to families in need. Their support of NOAH and the families we serve is a blessing to our community.”
NOAH has seen a procession of moves over the last few years. A rat infestation in 2010 rendered the former () Southwest Fire Station where the nonprofit was handing out food from, uninhabitable. Now the school district needs the space at Mountain Shadows for an incoming class of students.
The food pantry is expected to make the move to Cross and Crown, at 5475 Snyder Ln., in Rohnert Park, by the end of June. The organizations provides fresh produce, dairy products such as milk and canned goods to 300 households — or roughly 1,000 people in Rohnert Park, Cotati and Penngrove — each month. At its peak, volunteers were handing out food to an average of 2,500 people a month.
Donations often come in the form of cash from individual donors, fundraising efforts by local nonprofits such as the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park-Cotati and from the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa.
Over the holidays, more than 15,000 pounds of food was donated from the county's food bank, local nonprofits and Rancho Cotate High School.
A message from NOAH organizers: The food pantry will continue operations at the Middle School site through June. Financial donations can be mailed to P. O. Box 2955, Rohnert Park, Ca. 94928. NOAH is seeking volunteers that would like to serve on the Board of Directors. If interested, individuals should contact the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County at 707-573-3399. Those that wish to volunteer as Food Pantry Coordinators should contact Carl Leivo at firstname.lastname@example.org 707-293-8290.