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November 12, 2013 > From Book to Action: Ending Hunger and Homelessness in Hayward

From Book to Action: Ending Hunger and Homelessness in Hayward

Submitted By Sally Thomas

As Thanksgiving approaches and people reflect on what they are grateful for, many look for opportunities to give to others who are less fortunate. Community members are invited to participate in a discussion of concrete actions to end the crisis associated with hunger and homelessness, decrease the waste of good food and increase access to healthy meals. Sara Lamnin, executive director of the Hayward Community Action Network (Hayward CAN), urges people to get engaged: ÒWe can all take simple actions to make lasting change.Ó

This event, a Book-to-Action program, will reflect on lessons learned in ÒTattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless CompassionÓ by Gregory Boyle and local programs that provide opportunities for jobless citizens to earn income. Tattoos on the Heart shares BoyleÕs belief that universal kinship and redemption are keys to fighting despair that typically arise from poverty and lack of economic opportunities.

Hayward librarian Sally Thomas reports a strong endorsement of the book from local readers, who discussed the book last month. ÒA logical question readers are inspired to discuss after reading this engaging book is what we can learn from Homeboy Industries for local campaigns to generate jobs and vocational training opportunities.Ó

Betty De Forrest, a founding member of the Task Force, helps to lead the South Hayward ParishÕs food pantry that distributes food to individuals and families in the local community. She observes, ÒWe need to be clear that there are many more people who are hungry in our city than are homeless. Last year, we served 6,755 individuals in the South Hayward Parish food line, compared to 135 who identify as homeless. One third of those we served at the food pantry are women, and half of those are mothers with children living in cars.Ó

Panelists will include Suzan Bateson, Executive Director of the Alameda County Food Bank; Elaine de Coligny, Executive Director of EveryOne Home; and individuals who have faced hunger and homelessness in Hayward.

The Hayward Task Force to End Hunger and Homelessness organized last year to find solutions for the more than 18,000 people living in poverty in Hayward. As a founding member of the Task Force, City Council member Francisco Zermeľo encourages local engagement in volunteer activities such as helping someone with job searches and computer access or enlisting local restaurants to donate excess food to someone in need. ÒThis task force has the correct human-centered objectives of ending hunger and homelessness in our fine city,Ó Zermeľo related. ÒHayward is located in the ÔHeart of the Bay.Õ While the task is daunting, our will to provide a better quality of life for all Hayward residents is stronger. Hayward on!"

Sponsors of this program include: Hayward Public Library, Task Force to End Hunger and Homelessness in Hayward, Friends of the Hayward Library, Hayward Chamber of Commerce, Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, Eden Area League of Women Voters, South Hayward Parrish, Hayward/Castro Valley AAUW, Opportunity and Freedom, The Chabot College Puente Project, City Councilman Francisco Zermeľo

For more information, contact: Sally Thomas at or (510) 881-7700; or Sara Lamnin at or (510) 432-7703.

Saturday, Nov 16
Ending Hunger and Homelessness in Hayward
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Southgate Community Center
26780 Chiplay Ave., Hayward
(510) 881-7700 or (510) 432-7703

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