Public-private partnership City of Roseville, PCF COVID-19 Response Fund and Sutter Health
Roseville, CA- This week Family Meal Roseville began delivering meals prepared by local restaurants to residents experiencing food insecurity. Modeled after similar grassroots initiatives in Sacramento and Yolo counties, Family Meal Roseville was designed to help both struggling residents and local restaurants weather the COVID-19 crisis.
City leaders and community members saw a unique opportunity to help two groups hit hard by the health crisis. At a nominal cost of $5 a meal, the program keeps restaurants afloat and helps their employees maintain critical benefits such as health coverage. At the same time, residents experiencing food insecurity receive welcome sustenance.
The City asked the Health Education Council to operate the program due to its five-year partnership with the City to improve health outcomes in Roseville’s core neighborhoods, its bilingual outreach, and experience working on food-insecurity issues.
“We were one of 50 cities nationally to receive an Invest Health grant five years ago through our partnership with Health Education Council,” said Roseville Mayor John B. Allard II. “HEC has been instrumental in helping us identify and address the specific health and safety needs of our most vulnerable communities.”
How it Works…
Three times a week, participating Roseville restaurants will prepare nutritious meal kits designed to feed a family of four, or four meals for a one-person household. Roseville Transit drivers will pick up the refrigerated, ready-to-heat meal kits from the restaurants and deliver them to distribution sites. The first distribution sites for this initial phase of the project include a school meal distribution site in one of Roseville’s core neighborhoods, an affordable housing project and a senior living facility.
“The program is called Family Meal Roseville because whether it’s a family of one or many, in this time of crisis we are all family,” said Debra Oto-Kent, executive director of Health Education Council.
Thanks to sponsorships from the public, non-profit, and private sectors, restaurants are reimbursed for the meals and families receive the food at no cost.
The pilot program launched May 4. Over the next six weeks, Family Meal Roseville will provide weekly meals to 420 Roseville households. Health Education Council identified the initial group of recipients through their partnerships with the City’s Housing Division, Roseville City School District, Mercy Housing, and Project Go.
15,000 meals to start
A team of local organizations worked together to make Family Meal Roseville possible. The City of Roseville’s Citizen’s Benefit Fund* provided initial funding of $50,000, and Roseville Transit is providing delivery service. The Placer Community Foundation added funds from their COVID-19 Response Fund, which is deploying charitable dollars to organizations and programs across the community to meet priority needs in the most effective way possible. Sutter Health Foundation also provided funding. Bayside Church donated 500 face coverings for volunteers and participants. Collectively these funds will support an initial delivery of 15,000 meals.
Nixtaco Mexican Kitchen, Monk’s Cellar and Randy Peters Catering are the three local restaurants participating in the initial pilot program. Nixtaco helped bring the concept to Roseville and is participating in a similar program with the local non-profit My Mother’s Voice. Monk’s Cellar and Randy Peters Catering were asked to participate because of their experience serving vulnerable communities through similar programs and their location in the area where the Invest Health partnership is focused.
With more funding, the program can help more residents and restaurants. For more information or to donate, visit Health Education Council.
Each $20 donation supports local restaurants and provides four meals for a local family. Restaurants interested in participating may submit an interest form through the same website.
*Roseville’s Citizens’ Benefit Fund was established in 1993 following the sale of the City-owned Roseville Community Hospital. The proceeds were placed in a trust, and a portion of the interest earned each year is made available for grants for the purpose of improving the quality of life for the citizens of Roseville.