Union City’s Masonic Home provides garden area to support local food bank

The Masonic Home at Union City has dedicated more than an acre of land for growing fresh fruits and vegetables that will benefit Fremont’s Tri-City Volunteers Food Bank.

The fresh produce will help low-income families, homeless people, and single seniors facing hunger meet some of their most important and expensive nutritional needs. In addition to providing the plot of land, the Masonic Home will also provide seeds, tools, compost, irrigation, and a full-time gardener for the project.

“This dedicated garden area represents our continuing commitment to the Tri-City communities and furthers our mission to promote the quality of life and empower our members, their families, and our communities to live well,” says Gary Charland, Executive Vice President, Masonic Homes of California.

“This is a one-of- a -kind undertaking for which we are immensely grateful,” says Melissa Ponchard, Executive Director at Tri-City Volunteers. “Over the years, Masonic Homes has contributed enormously to Tri-City Volunteers. Residents make weekly donations to our thrift store to help us cover the cost of operating our food bank.”

John Marshall, Masonic Homes Director of Food Services, echoes this sentiment: “Both of our organizations promote health and wellness and work towards creating a community where everyone can enjoy a meaningful and rewarding life.”

Urban farmers and anyone willing to help are needed to assist with maintaining the garden. All produce grown will solely benefit the Tri-City Food Bank. The partnership created by the Masonic Home offers a pathway for community members to come together and support local low-income families. If you are interested in participating or learning more, please contact Rachel Lendzion at Tri-City Volunteers: rlendzion@tri-cityvolunteers.org; 510-793-4583, Ext: 115.

Tri-City Volunteers has served local residents since 1970. Their largest program, the Food Cart, feeds more than 6,000 families a month.  The program emphasizes healthy eating, providing close to 2.5 million pounds of fresh produce every year to low-income families. Most of the program’s participants are seniors and children – those most vulnerable to the effects of malnutrition.  Families facing poverty have a difficult time affording fruits and vegetables on a regular basis.

Founded more than 100 years ago in Union City by the Masons of California, the Masonic Homes of California provides care and services to thousands of seniors, families, and youth throughout the state with a professional staff of more than 350 employees.


Carly April 04, 2014 at 11:52 AM
This is really awesome and I hope that many people will participate and benefit.
God Bless America April 04, 2014 at 11:52 AM
Great! Hope it's not just a PR move to make the Masonic home look good. They want to build homes in the open land there. So don't be fooled.
Zinn April 04, 2014 at 01:12 PM
It would be nice to get follow up stories and photos of the garden as this venture goes forward..
ym April 11, 2014 at 12:41 PM
God Bless America, yes. I fear this is a all a part of their ploy to get an approval for building along Mission Blvd. Stay tuned for the other shoe to drop anytime now.
Union City Resident May 13, 2014 at 03:11 AM
I predict you are right. And watch the City council cave in to them. We said no development where it can be seen. That was voted on by the people. They can't change that if they respect the people's votes. Let's see how this plays out. You can see it coming!!


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