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CommuniCare+OLE Helps Napa and Fairfield Families with Holiday Feasts

Monthly Food Distribution Includes Something Extra for the Holidays

Napa, CA – December 18 – Each month, CommuniCare+OLE offers monthly free food distributions in Calistoga, Napa, and Fairfield to any community member in need, serving roughly 400 families per month. To help provide a little holiday cheer this year, at the November 17 and December 15 distributions, families got something extra: 300 turkeys for Thanksgiving and 250 packs of 10-pound chicken breasts for Christmas. Generally, the distribution consists of fresh seasonal produce, dry and canned goods, and, through a partnership with Jameson Humane, dog and cat food for four-legged family members. Each month across each location, the demand is high as food insecurity has skyrocketed.

“We all know that the pandemic exacerbated many existing inequities and challenges for our communities’ most vulnerable members, including food insecurity,” said Alicia Hardy, CEO of CommuniCare+OLE. “As the organization who cares for Napa and Fairfield’s most vulnerable residents, we are committed to providing whatever support we can to help improve the health and wellbeing of our friends and neighbors. And if we can help brighten their holiday celebrations in the process, that is a win-win for us.”

CommuniCare+OLE’s model is focused on whole person care. In addition to medical, dental, behavioral health, and other in-clinic services, it offers wraparound services to address factors that affect health outside of the health center setting. The monthly food distributions are one way it works to address food insecurity, but CommuniCare+OLE also helps enroll individuals in CalFresh, the California SNAP program that provides money for the purchase of food.

According to the California Association of Food Banks, food insecurity across California has soared, with approximately 1 in 5 California families — more than 3.1 million households, including 1.1 million with children — reporting uncertain access to food. Nationwide research from the USDA Economic Research Service in 2022 showed there are more than twice as many Latinx food insecure households (20.8%) than white households (9.3%). The communities served by CommuniCare+OLE are no exception to these trends.

The holidays can put additional pressure and worsen food insecurity concerns. In November, CommuniCare+OLE saw a 30% increase in demand in Calistoga and a 20% increase in demand in Fairfield from the previous month.

“What began as a small distribution in Napa for fewer than 100 families has exponentially grown to serving individuals in North Napa, Calistoga, and Fairfield, where we routinely see 400 families per month across our three distributions,” said Hardy.

The food distributions take place the third Friday of each month at CommuniCare+OLE Calistoga and North Napa Health Centers in Napa County. The food distributed in Napa County is purchased at cost from CAN-V. In Fairfield, CommuniCare+OLE partners with the Fairfield Adult School to do the distributions and receives additional support from Aliados and Food is Free Bay Area.


About CommuniCare+OLE:

Established in 2023, CommuniCare+OLE is the result of a union of two health centers with a deep roots in their respective communities and reputations for providing high-quality primary care to all, regardless of insurance or ability to pay: OLE Health of Napa and Solano Counties and CommuniCare Health Centers of Yolo County. Building on a legacy established by both organizations in 1972, CommuniCare+OLE is a network of federally qualified health centers with 17 sites across Napa, Solano, and Yolo Counties. It offers comprehensive care, including medical, dental, behavioral health and substance use treatment, nutrition, optometry, pharmacy, care coordination, referrals, and enrollment assistance to more than 70,000 individuals, and no one is turned away due to lack of insurance, immigration status, or ability to pay. Many services are offered outside of its sites, including mobile health, home visiting, and community and school-based programs.