Dedication of Michael Chavez Center, Nov 19

The Dedication and Grand Opening of the Michael Chavez Center in Concord will be Held Nov 19 at 5:30 p.m.

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The Michael Chavez Center for Economic Opportunity located in Concord will celebrate its Grand Opening and Dedication, November 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Located at 2699 Monument Blvd Unit G, in Concord, California, the Michael Chavez Center exists to provide jobs, training and revenue building opportunities to residents and businesses in the high-diversity, low-income Monument area of Concord, based on members’ own investment in their future and the community.

Join the family of the late Michael Chavez for whom the Center is dedicated, and its Staff, as the Center continues its work in Central County thru its Day Labor, Technology and Literacy, and Economic Development Programs.

For questions and to RSVP contact Supervisor Susa Bonilla’s Office at 925-521-7100 or e-mail dist4@bos.cccounty.us

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Monument food bank expands

Monument Crisis Center is distributing to about 1600 families averaging about 5900 people served each month.

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Back in November I did an interview at the Crisis Center when they put out a call to the community for help with Thanksgiving donations. Since that time the background unemployment rate has increased, the income levels have fallen and the view of the crisis in the neighborhood has grown and changed somewhat. Here is a summary:

Demographics:
There has been a shift in the people served from in excess of 70% Hispanic (the Monument Corridor has the highest concentrations of Hispanics in Concord) down to 62% reflecting the spread of the problems in our city.
The number of new people added to their distribution list is up 50% from last year at this time ( was 105 average in 2008 now it is 150-160 a month).

They are distributing to about 1600 families averaging about 5900 people served each month. Families are limited to one monthly distribution which is fairly common in many of the food crisis centers in Concord such as SHARE and the Salvation Army. So their efforts are not like a daily welfare situation but exactly like a once a month crisis intervention.

Donations of food from the community:
April was a bad month with only 9,000 lbs of donations from the public, whereas this May it was 16,900. There has been no increase in government donation quantities and they rely on the community for help.

Volunteers
There are about 600+ individuals that rotate through on a monthly schedule with roughly 2 hour shift per day. There is a need for local volunteers.

Services
In addition to providing emergency food baskets, they also have a community outreach program that includes education on healthy food choices/preparations including a summer ‘camp’ at the site for 50 kids this summer. They have a special request for fruit and vegetables for this project detailed on their website. They have also provided social gathering for seniors on ‘brown bag’ days when seniors can sit around communal tables to share a snack and talk to their neighbors. They also provide tutoring and mentoring services as they recognize the importance of helping with the children to get them a hand in getting school work and basic education.

Money:
It takes about a million dollars a year to keep this operation going and cash donations are from Foundations, corporations, clubs and organizations as well as individuals. Along the walls of the Center there are blow ups of some of the large or touching donations from the area spanning groups such as The Rotary Clubs to a set of donations from the Monument Futures day laborers.

You can get more information as well as donate individually at their website
www.monumentcrisiscenter.org

The Monument Crisis Center
2350 Monument Blvd Suite B *by the Public Storage facility between Oak Grove and Detroit Avenue
Concord, CA 94520

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