Locals provide holiday dinner for homeless


Residents of Menlo Park's Willows neighborhood banded together over the holidays to provide a Christmas Day dinner and $2,500 in supplies for occupants of the Clara Mateo homeless shelter, Cafe Zoe owner Kathleen Daly reports.

Shortly before the holiday, residents rallied around a request for food donations to provide a meal for the shelter's 70 residents, and for about 30 low-income residents of nearby O'Keefe Street, according to Ms. Daly. The shelter is located in the Menlo Park Veterans Affairs complex on Willow Road.

Willows residents also helped to deliver and serve the food, Ms. Daly said. People who were out of town or were unable to cook combined to pitch in $2,500, money that will be used to buy supplies and clothing for the shelter's residents.

Cafe Zoe, a neighborhood institution located on Menalto Avenue, was the drop-off point.

"I am very proud of my employees who helped make this happen, but this is not about what the cafe did," Ms. Daly wrote in an e-mail to The Almanac. "It is about the residents of the community and the customers of the entire Menalto Station business area who joined together to make this happen."

The shelter is currently looking for a new home; new construction is expected to force it off the VA campus in the fall.

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