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Across the valley, food bank lines are longer than ever, it’s estimated that 30,000 more people a month are relying on FIND food bank after being forced to stay home because of COVID-19.
Lorena Marroquin, the director of community impact with the non profit says the full impact won’t be known until the crisis is over, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my time working for F.I.N.D. Food Bank and it’s just shocking and it’s also humbling because I see the generous people.”
They’ve added 19 new mobile market distributions, senior locations and home bound senior distribution services to help meet the demand. They’ve seen their food lines doubled.
“I’ve seen the need grow across the board so I know that hunger does not discriminate especially during this time,” says Marroquin.
To keep up with the surge the National Guard and California Conservation Corps are helping pack and distribute food.
“My crew and I all feel very grateful to be able to serve our community,” says John Lugo, with the California Conservation Corps.
Marroquin says people who usually volunteer or donate are now themselves in food lines, “I’ve seen teachers that normally you know have been to give or help out at our mobile market distribution now asking for food assistance, I’ve seen people who’ve never found themselves in a food insecure state now asking for assistance.”
She says having proper nutrition is more important than ever, “People who are food insecure are the ones that are being more at risk in getting the virus.”
Their work seems daunting but their mission remains the same.
“No one goes hungry, no one gets left behind,” says Marroquin.
Marroquin says they also run a Cal Fresh program, formerly food stamps, and that now restrictions are loosened so people who would normally not qualify can receive help during this crisis.
If you or anyone you know need food assistance call FIND Food Bank at 760-775-FOOD (3663).
For food distribution locations and times click here: FIND Food Bank