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Welcome to WVCS News & Notes

Updated: Aug 6, 2021


Fresh free vegetables at the WVCS Market

Welcome to News & Notes: the inaugural West Valley Community Services' blog!


This forum is a space to share monthly updates on our operations and as well as stories from our community members, staff, and board members that illustrate our community's dedication to fight hunger and homelessness.


It seems fitting, then, for these first blog posts to explore the story of West Valley Community Services (WVCS), from its bare-bones referral services beginning in 1973 to its robust role in the community today. So here we go...



The new dignified grocery store like food pickup

While we didn't begin in a garage, we did start modestly, as three public health nurses responded to the community’s need for a centralized, information- and referral-phone operation (remember, this was 1973, pre-internet days) to help those needing transportation, child care, medical care, and emergency housing assistance. Initially named the Cupertino Round Up, the organization was supported by local government, along with faith-based and volunteer service organizations working together. In its first month, it served 14 families, and by the end of that year had helped over 300 families and individuals.


Today, we serve close to 5,000 families and individuals in an expanded service area including Cupertino, West San Jose, Saratoga, and Los Gatos. We provide food pantries for those facing hunger crises, support services and access to stable housing resources for those experiencing homelessness, and supply a continuum of programs to help families in need including:


nutrition education,

parenting workshops,

financial education and credit coaching,

tax preparation,

transitional housing,

below market rate housing,

emergency financial assistance,

and back to school and holiday programs.


The history below includes some milestones that mark our program expansion:


1973 Cupertino Roundup forms as a community outreach program,

serving 14 families in the first month and over 300 throughout the first

year.

1976 Cupertino Roundup becomes Cupertino Community Services

(CCS) reflecting the combined efforts of local government, churches,

volunteer organizations, and individuals.

1985 CCS hosts its first BBQ/auction fundraiser at Blackberry Farm.

1990 CCS moves to Quinlan Community Center and launches a full-

service food pantry.

1996 CCS acquires a four-plex to provide transitional housing to

homeless men, women, and children.

2003 CCS opens Vista Village, a 24 unit rental complex for low-income

tenants.

2008 CCS changes its name to West Valley Community Services

(WVCS) to better reflect the community we serve.

2009 WVCS gets its first refrigerated Mobile Food Pantry Van.

2011 WVCS hosts the first Chefs of Compassion fundraising event, an

annual event attracting 400+ attendees where chefs make food with ingredients served in the food pantry.

2016 WVCS launches the Mobile Food Pantry program with support from

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.

2017 WVCS adds a walk-in refrigerator as an extension of the WVCS

food pantry.

2021 WVCS completes new construction funded by the Lift Us Up campaign,

expands the food pantry and service center, and gets a new Mobile Food Pantry Van - renamed the Park-it Market.


WVCS went from serving 14 individuals in its first month to nearly 5,000 families and individuals in 2020. We are excited to share more about our organization through this blog and invite members of the community to share your experiences and ideas on all things WVCS, so please contact me at maryjog@wvcommunityservices.org with any questions or suggestions for blog posts. We would love to include YOUR thoughts about what WVCS means to you and how we can continue to band together to fight hunger and homelessness in the community.


Thank you for supporting West Valley Community Services. We look forward to hearing from you!


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