ALBANY -- The city's annual donation drive has begun, with a new beneficiary and new locations for residents to hand off food, clothes and toys.

The drive, which typically benefits the Alameda County Food Bank and the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond, will also benefit the new Temporary Transition Shelter being set up on the waterfront through Operation Dignity.

"It's a bit more localized this year because we are doing some work down at that area and trying to reach out to the homeless in general in the city," City Clerk Nicole Almaguer said.

The city has been trying to address the homeless population on the Albany Bulb this year.

The City Council voted to begin enforcing the city's anti-camping ordinance on the Bulb beginning in October, although to this point, the homeless population has not been evicted.

The city has also committed funds to providing services to the homeless, including setting up the temporary shelter at the waterfront.

Operation Dignity has been contracted by the city to manage the shelter.

New toys, canned, jarred or dry nonperishable food and clean used or new coats are being accepted for the drive. Bins are set up at City Hall, 1000 San Pablo Ave; the Library/Community Center, 1247 Marin Ave.; and the Albany Senior Center, 846 Masonic Ave. All items will be accepted at City Hall and the Community Center. Only food will be accepted at the Senior Center.

The last day donations can be made is Dec. 20.

The City Hall bins are new this year. Almaguer said Albany hopes the extra bins will lead to more donations.

"It has been a good drive in the past at the Community Center, so hopefully expanding that and getting a localized focus can make it a stronger event," she said.

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