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As demand grows, La Comida seeks new site for nutrition program

Original post made on May 27, 2021

It's been a year of growth, adaptation and uncertainty for the nonprofit that serves about 1,700 meals to seniors weekly. Now, with congregate dining set to return, it is weighing its next move.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 2:52 PM

Comments (5)

Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 27, 2021 at 10:47 am

Mama is a registered user.

How about putting a canopy over the small park on Lytton? That area is pretty useless. Could still be used for other events.

Posted by Logan Arenado
a resident of another community
on May 27, 2021 at 6:45 pm

Logan Arenado is a registered user.

The small park on Lytton Avenue would be a good site for senior outdoor dining but it is also frequented by the PA homeless.

Would this pose a potential problem?

Posted by JS1
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 29, 2021 at 10:31 am

JS1 is a registered user.

La Comida does not share space well. They want exclusive use of a commercial Kitchen and exclusive use of a dining room large enough to serve 80 or more people. This is likely why they are not able to operate out of the Masonic Hall, the Methodist Church or the Avenidas building. La Comida should consider leasing or buying a defunct restaurant space where they will have exclusive use of the space. Restaurant spaces are already equipped with kitchen facilities, food storage and dining facilities and there are many located in downtown Palo Alto. The former Lemonade space at University and High Street is currently for lease.

Posted by Annies biped
a resident of Midtown
on May 29, 2021 at 6:45 pm

Annies biped is a registered user.

Suggesting that La Comida doesn't share well belies it's history. While colocated at Avenidas for 40 years La Comida used the kitchen from 8am to 2:30pm 5 days a week, and the dining room from 10:30 to 2:30. Avenidas frequently rented the space for other uses on the weekends, or had movies, classes and bridge groups in the late afternoon as well as early morning coffee meetings. Unfortunately when Avenidas remodeled the city owned Bryant Street facility, the dining room space went from an occupancy of 140 to an occupancy of less than 80, and the building was closed for two years while the renovations were being made. Avenidas went to Cubberley for the interim while La Comida went to Stevenson House on a more permanent basis. Cooking and serving at Stevenson House means La Comida no longer needs a large 140 occupancy dining room to serve seniors who live closer to the downtown area. Wouldn't it be great to have a downtown city sponsored senior center (Avenidas) that included the city & county sponsored senior nutrition program (La Comida) for downtown seniors?

Posted by JS1
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 3, 2021 at 8:08 pm

JS1 is a registered user.

Annie’s, The “La Comida does not share well” comment merely reflects the fact that La Comida is apparently not being welcomed back to share space where they have been located in the past. La Comida certainly offers a valuable service to local seniors. The problem is a real estate problem. La Comida needs a facility with both a commercial kitchen and a large dining room - and La Comida seems to want someone else to provide that kitchen/dining space to them at little to no cost. It is unrealistic to expect that other organizations will sacrifice such facilities (if they even have such facilities) for La Comida’s exclusive use. That is probably the reason that La Comida is looking for new space again. It is obvious that La Comida needs their own space and not shared space. La Comida board should start a capital campaign and/or they should approach the City or County for assistance. The more money that La Comida can raise on their own may provide greater motivation on the part of City or County to assist. The sooner that La Comida raises the funds, the sooner they can control their own fate.

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