The power continues to be out in Cloverdale and until recently, many people were also without gas. With food supplies spoiling or running low, the town is coming together to make sure that everyone is fed.
Multiple businesses in town have provided food to Cloverdalians and evacuees at either free or reduced cost, and service organizations have been cooking up even more food at the Citrus Fair.
“We’re just trying to help people because we’re going to lose everything,” said Denaire Nixon, co-owner of Papa’s Pizza.
Papa’s hosted a pop-up in their parking lot on Oct. 29, where they brought out a brick oven, a grill and served up food to community members for free. The pop-up opened at noon, and a few hours later they were out of food.
“My husband and I — our kids are fifth generation Cloverdale — we’ve lived here our whole lives and we’re so happy to help people,” Nixon said. “I was in tears this morning knowing that there’s people without food — my refrigerator’s done — we’re trying to put in ice, but people are out of ice, generators are running out of gas and people are hungry.”
At the MoE’s Eagles Nest Deli, reduced prices and a limited menu are allowing the business to stay open to customers. Though, the path to remain open hasn’t been easy.
“The first day without power we sold everything that we could in the deli and we thankfully had access to some family that had a generator so we could put some of the stuff away. The next day we had to shut down, we just didn’t have any access to generators that could come to the deli, so we spent yesterday (Monday) getting a second generator, getting gas because there’s no gas here in town. We spent the rest of the evening yesterday slicing and preparing,” said Monique Evans, owner of MoE’s Eagles Nest.
Without gas, Evans had to try and boil water three separate times to get it the right temperature for coffee.
“We sold out the first day and the second day has been a little bit less, but people are definitely happy for us to be open,” she said.
While Evans is concerned about the future, should power and gas shutoffs continue to happen as regularly as they have been, she said that she’s thankful for the community.
“I’m so thankful that everyone is coming out and supporting us and I’m also so thankful for community members for coming together and pooling their resources,” Evans said. “That warms my heart.”
At the Citrus Fair, service clubs are cooking food that’s been donated from throughout the area. Local restaurants and stores have donated food to cook and give out to the public before it goes bad, and members of the Lions and Kiwanis clubs have set up their traveling kitchens and are set up at the fair cooking.
According to Cloverdale Lions Club member Tex Dickens, the club served around 150 people the first day it was at the fair (Sunday, Oct. 27), around 400 on Monday and as of Tuesday afternoon, the line had been going nonstop.
“We didn’t know we were going to do this at all, but there was a need so we did it,” Dickens said.
On Tuesday, as food was being served up, more was coming in — tamales, packages of bread, Costco pizza — and people were in line ready to eat up.
World Global Kitchen is heading to the Citrus Fairgrounds starting tonight and will be providing at least lunch and dinner until power is restored to town, said Alma Bowen, executive director of Nuestra Comunidad. The nonprofit has been in Sonoma County feeding firefighters and folks at evacuation centers, and is making its way to Cloverdale because it heard about the lack of food for people staying in town.
“They’re completely self-contained so they’re bringing plenty of food, water, everything needed,” Bowen said. “They will continue to take care of our food needs by coming back each day with different foods.”
While they will be serving out of the fairgrounds, Bowen said that their home base is set up in Santa Rosa and more food will be just a phone call away.
“If they get to Cloverdale and they start running out of food, all they have to do is make a call to Santa Rosa and they can have additional food sent to Cloverdale,” she said.
World Global Kitchen is planning on serving lunch and dinner to people at the Citrus Fair starting with dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The last meal they will be serving is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.