Food bank looks to rebuild after fire

July 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A warehouse in Hayward went up in flames Thursday, destroying the food and toys it was storing for thousands of the most underserved people in the Bay Area. However, volunteers for the nonprofit group, called Hope for the Heart, are already preparing to start over again.

Help is already coming in for this food bank from all over the community. Wells Fargo has already made a hefty donation and Alameda County Fire says it will be throwing a massive toy drive to try and recover thousands of toys that were lost in the devastation on Thursday.

"I see the positives. I believe that help will come clear it and we will be able to rebuild," says volunteer Filomena DoPadre.

Vivian Vargas survived what very little remains of the food bank. The warehouse was destroyed Thursday as hundreds of pallets of foods, diapers and toiletries were wiped out by the fire.

"It's very hard. This morning, when I came in, I just couldn't believe it. We put our hearts and soul into this place to help the poor." says Vivian Vargas from Hope for the Heart.

Despite the heartache and loss there, volunteers arrived anyway to help clean up to make things back to the way they were before.

"Because there are people who need things, we still have work to do. There's always work here. There's always work here because there's always people who need," says one volunteer.

Hope for the Hear itself is in need. With no fire insurance, the director says it is now calling for more volunteers, contractors and people in the community to help move rubble and debris so it can maybe start over.

"You know, I know it's going to be okay. I know that the supplies are going to start rolling in. What we need to do is rebuild so that we can store it again," says DoPadre.

11,000 people per month were helped by Hope for the Heart. They will continue the work needed on Tuesday with two semi-trucks in hand to help supply people in need.

We are told by fire investigators that they haven't come up with a cause yet, but it could take a couple more days.

Food bank donations

To donate to Hope for the Heart Food Bank, just call (510) 415-0197.

Press Release:
Wells Fargo Bank today announced a $10,000 donation to help the "Hope for the Heart" organization recover after yesterday's fire that destroyed the Hayward warehouse. The non-profit organization distributes food and toys throughout the Bay Area. Yesterday's fire destroyed the warehouse full of goods intended for less fortunate families.

Wells Fargo Bank, headquartered in the Bay Area, decided this morning to make a contribution.

"Wells Fargo team members felt that taking quick action and helping Hope for the Heart during this time of need is the right thing to do," said Tracy Curtis, Wells Fargo East Bay Regional President. "Given the concern we heard from our customers and team members, Wells Fargo wanted to help the organization get back on its feet as quickly as possible since the nonprofit helps thousands of families in the community. We hope other companies and individuals can do what they can to help."

Wells Fargo is the largest corporate giver among financial institutions to local nonprofits in the Bay Area.


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