Helping Residents of Vallejo and Surrounding Areas Feed Their Families
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”
When Benjamin (a former professional basketball player) and Mary Ann Buggs first moved to Vallejo, they drove around the area to familiarize themselves with their new home. In that moment, based on what they saw – the housing crisis, the Mare Island closure, Vallejo’s budget crisis – Benjamin decided that “God’s telling me to feed these people.”
Together they started Faith Food Fridays in 2011, a community outreach ministry of Faith Bible Church of Vallejo (901 Solano Ave.). With assistance from Safeway, Grocery Outlet, Food Bank, Walmart, Smart & Final, Costco, Target, and the Church, and donations from the community, they are able to provide free banana boxes full of food and groceries (fresh and non-perishable) every Tuesday from 11am-2pm, Friday from 11am-5pm, and Sundays from 11am-1pm, drive-thru only. Clothing, shoes, and small household items are also available. They average 550+ boxes of food per week. Last year alone, Faith Food Fridays served 97,000 individuals.
According to Benjamin, the program’s director, and Mary Ann, “Our mission is to help our Vallejo area neighbors in need with not only free food boxes and clothing, but resource referrals and positive encouragement.”
At any one time, there are between 600-800 homeless people just in the Vallejo area alone. Unlike other pantries, Faith Food Fridays doesn’t care who you are or where you came from. You don’t need identification or proof of residence. Everyone is welcome, greeted with a smile and a helping hand – homeless, working poor, people with only part time jobs, students, families, and veterans.
The goal is to help people in Vallejo and the surrounding areas (from Sacramento to Oakland), to become productive members of society, or simply to provide them with basic needs: food and clothing.
There are other services available at Faith Food Fridays, including free flu shots a few times a year, and a speaker series. Call Faith Food Fridays for further information.
“For those in need, we are here for you.”
- Ziplock bags – sandwich size and gallon size
- Shampoo, soap, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors
- Canned tuna
- Peanut butter
- Hearty soups
- Dried or canned beans
- Canned chicken
- Canned fruit in juice
- 100 percent fruit juice
- Canned vegetables
- Canned tomato products
- Enriched rice, grains or pasta
- Iron rich cereal and whole grain cereal
- Monetary Donations
If you have a heart to help, volunteer opportunities are available Mondays through Fridays: (and sometimes special events on the weekends): Mondays 9:00am-3:00pm (prepping for Tuesday distribution), Tuesdays from 9am-2pm (distribution from 11am-2pm), Wednesdays 9:00a-3:00pm, Thursdays 8:30am-5:00pm (Food Bank pick up and prep for Friday distribution), and Fridays 2:00pm-5:00pm (distribution from 2pm-5pm). Please join us for whatever your schedule allows or call us at (707) 557-7933 for more info!
– Joye Ogrodowski