Food Programs

Volunteering for these food programs is exempt from the current Shelter-in-Place Order

Food Pantry – 4th Saturday

Are you in need of food assistance? The Food Pantry distributes food on the 4th Saturday of every month, 8:00am – 10:00 am at the Lakeshore side of the church building.

The Lake Merritt United Methodist Church Food Pantry, in partnership with the Alameda County Community Food Bank, has been serving the Oakland Community for over 30 years by providing free food to individuals and families in need. Currently, food is shared through a client-choice distribution model where folks can select food instead of pre-filled bags. The Food Pantry provides nutritious shelf stable foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. Last year, we distributed 130,000 pounds of food, including 85,000 pounds of fresh produce to over 15,000 people throughout the year.
During the shelter in place, the food pantry has temporarily converted to Curbside Grab and Go distribution of pre-bagged groceries. Volunteer sign-up below.


If you are low-income and in need of food assistance, call the Emergency Food Helpline at (800) 870-3663 or go online at

Lake Lunches

Lake Merritt UMC distributes healthy lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays to individuals in need around Lake Merritt. Since the beginning of 2018, we have distributed over 1,600 bagged lunches. Volunteer to prepare or deliver lunches (see sign-up box).

Wednesday Lunches

Each Wednesday, delicious well-balanced lunches prepared by local restauranteurs are made available to the community for curbside pick up from our 1st Avenue parking lot. This is made possible through Oakland’s Summer Food Service Program and World Central Kitchen. Contact the church office to volunteer for this program.

Feasting with Friends

On Friday evenings, we gathered in fellowship to prepare a warm meal for our neighbors in the Lake Merritt Community Cabins. As we prepare to serve our neighbors that welcome us to their table, we seize the opportunity to foster community around a feast. This program is suspended indefinitely during shelter in place.

Laney College Partnership

On the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, Lake Merritt UMC, in partnership with Laney College, distributes dry food items, such as peanut butter and canned tuna, to students who come to the church (entire on the ground level of the Lakeshore side). A 2017 study conducted at Laney College found that over half of student respondents have low food security in one form or another. The Alameda County Food Bank also delivers fresh produce on campus on the first and third Tuesdays. This program is suspended indefinitely during shelter in place.


VOLUNTEER with LMUMC Food Ministries

Sign up online at these links:

Lake Lunches – Monday through Thursday

Monthly Food Pantry Distribution – 4th Saturdays & Fridays prior

Donate to LMUMC Food Ministries here!

Would you like to receive email updates? Sign up here! You may opt out at any time.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Every year, Lake Merritt UMC opens its doors to serve hot Thanksgiving meals on Thanksgiving Day to anyone who would like a meal.  All are welcome! Over 400 were served at the 2019 Thanksgiving. This meal is made possible by the many volunteers how contribute to help prepare and serve the meal. We are also fortunate to have all of our turkeys donated by Safeway.