Giving back to Mother Branch


September 17, 2011

In Memoriam: Mother Branch died of natural causes while surrounded by family and loved ones on March 22, 2011. Her humanitarianism, compassion, and service to her community will not be forgotten.


Oneida Branch is known to her community as "Mother Branch", where for decades she has run an informal community food bank from her home. She says her air conditioner "takes a lot of juice", but thanks to GRID Alternatives she can afford to run it during the summer as she works to take care of those less fortunate.

Mother Branch is over 90 years old and lives in East Palo Alto where she has been an active community supporter for more than 53 years. Regardless of her age and living on a low fixed income, Mother Branch continues her community work and works year-round to gather and distribute food and clothing to those in need.

She lives less than a mile down the street from the St. John Missionary Baptist Church which she co-founded 50 years ago with her husband, Rev. James Branch, "who died preaching in the pulpit."

GRID Alternatives installed a solar electrc system on Mother Branch's home in 2008 to help her lower her electric utility bills and use the savings to meet other needs. The cost of Mother Branch's system was partially funded with the fundraising support of Stanford students at GRID Alternatives' Stanford Campus Chapter.

"This solar system is really helping me, God Bless the people who put it in," said Mother Branch