Central Valley businesses donate food to first responders at Creek Fire

Inside Alena Food in southeast Fresno, employees are preparing meals similar to the ones they supply to Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission and other local casinos that have been feeding seniors and employees.

“We were doing pre-cooked meals for their elders to ensure they got a healthy meal every day with nutritional value. So that helped us stay afloat during the hardship and first phase of being shut down,” said Tim Patendis, Alena foods.

Tim Patendis is the owner of Alena Foods, a processing, manufacturing and distributing company. He estimates business is down 50% because of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Patendis has been able to help get food and prepare items for firefighters battling the Creek Fire.

“Another day, they needed protein items, some meats. Took care of it right away. Our goal is to help and get what they want, and they need it. They’re doing an incredible job trying to save our state,” Patendis said

He’s also made donations from water to food.
Over at Cornerstone Church, BooBoo Bean Bakery & Café has helped organize an effort called “Feed a Frontline First Responder.”

People donated money, and volunteers have made a difference.

“What was a $500 goal ballooned into a $27,000 fundraiser all from the community. It’s amazing what happened,” said Jenny Rivera, owner of BooBoo Bean Bakery & Café

While her business has been hit hard, she’s focused her energy on serving and making food.
Their next burrito making day is October 24.

“It’s heartwarming. It’s such a blessing to see the volunteers’ efforts. People coming from Bakersfield and Hanford and all over the place to give their time,” Rivera said.

To date, they have made thousands of burritos and sent them to the Creek Fire.

Both businesses say they feel fortunate to be able to operate during this time and give back.

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