Just in time for the holidays, Sunnyvale Community Services (SCS) has a new facility. The non-profit cut the ribbon at 1160 Kern Ave. in Sunnyvale on Oct. 28 and is already stocking its warehouse and food freezers in preparation for November and December distributions.
“We are finally home!” said SCS Executive Director Marie Bernard. “We are thrilled to officially open the doors to our new home where low-income residents will be able to access food, financial assistance and many other supportive services, all under one roof.”
The new facility opened to the public on Nov. 1 and held its first drive-thru food distribution event on Nov. 3. Bernard says SCS picked the site on Kern Avenue because it served the agency’s purposes now and in the future.
“There is a lot of natural light throughout the building, even in the warehouse. We have space to welcome clients and space for staff to work and to meet,” said Bernard. “We designed the building to be flexible space from front to back.
“SCS knows that community priorities change and flex, and our space can be reconfigured if programs and funding shift,” continued Bernard. “We wired the building to be ready for future technology needs. Our professional staff in case management and financial aid programs has grown, and that work requires confidentiality and meeting rooms.”
In addition to expanding the public areas, storage has also increased. The warehouse is equipped with truck loading docks so SCS can accept bulk donations, while the freezers and coolers are ten times larger than those at the old facility.
The space will make a difference. The pandemic has created an unprecedented need in Santa Clara County and SCS is working to help alleviate some of the burden for families. During the holidays in 2020, the agency helped more than 2,500 local families totaling more than 4,500 people. SCS expects the need to be just as great this holiday season.
SCS’s new facility was made possible by donations from individuals and large local corporations. SAP and Infinera donated all the office furniture, while partners like Second Harvest Silicon Valley, the City of Sunnyvale, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Specialty Solid Waste & Recycling, and the Sovereign Order of St. John donated the equipment and trucks SCS needs to do its work.
The agency will hold an open house to welcome the public into its new facility on Dec. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. Guests will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. The number of people on each tour will be limited to make sure everyone is safe.
SCS resided in its previous building on Kifer Road in Sunnyvale for 18 years. When it moved into the Kifer Road location, it operated just four food distribution days a month. Now, the agency holds food distribution days more than 20 days a month. It also distributes toys during the holidays and backpacks at the start of the school year.
Bernard says while SCS has accomplished the goal of a new facility, it still has not entirely raised the $20 million it needed to fund the move and the new facility. People can donate at: https://svcommunityservices.org/donate-online/.