In 1982, Mercy Retirement & Care Center launched the Mercy Brown Bag program to distribute wholesome bags of groceries to seniors living on fixed incomes. Volunteers, many of whom are seniors, help coordinate the program by collecting bags, organizing food drives, helping at distribution sites, and delivering bags to seniors.
In the past year alone, program volunteers distributed 44,799 bags or 850,485 pounds of food, feeding approximately 3,687 people at 15 sites throughout Alameda County. More than 400 volunteers donated more than 20,000 volunteer hours of their time to the cause.
Below is a video from the Alameda County Community Food Bank, partners in Mercy’s Brown Bag Program.
What goes into each bag?
Depending on availability, each bag contains 10 to 15 items, including:
Fresh produce and fruit
Bread and pastries
Who is eligible?
Seniors age 60 and up with a maximum monthly income of $1,354 for one person or $2,192 for two people or more. Individuals must be residents of Alameda County and can only request one bag per household. We also request a $10 annual donation to the program. Bags are distributed twice per month, free of charge.
How you can help
Deliver bags to homes
Sort items in the warehouse
Help at one of our 15 distribution sites in Alameda County
Organize a food or bag drive
Let your elected officials know you care about hungry seniors, click here.
Donate clean or gently used bags
Large paper grocery bags
Plastic grocery bags
If the Mercy Brown Bag Program speaks to your heart, please consider also making a financial contribution.
To find out more or get involved, contact Krista Lucchesi
at 510-534-8540 x369.
Elder Care Alliance, a non-profit organization, is cosponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas West Midwest Community & the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. RCFE Lic # 015600255 SNF Lic # CA020000237