Eastern Coachella Families Looking for Food Assistance Triples

Regina Yurrita

Nearly 700 food baskets were given out at Galilee Center’s food distribution this Thursday.

However not every family went home with food as the number of families looking for assistance was triple that number.

A line of vehicles formed along Hammond Rd. in Mecca and was estimated to reach the North Shore community, which is about 10 miles south from the center. 

Each car with struggling families waiting to get food donations before they run out.

“There’s a lot of people asking for food and for diapers. I think it’s about a 75 percent increase than what we used to have,” said Gloria Gomez, the founder of Galilee Center. 

Jose Gonzalez, who’s a fieldworker in the Thermal community, recently had his hours cut because the demand for produce is shrinking.

Which has made it increasingly difficult for him to provide for his family. 

“That’s why I’m here so I could get a little bit of help. My family and I are struggling economically and I don’t want them to worry. So here I am,” said Gonzalez.

The labor department reported that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits reached 4.4 million last week.

In eastern Coachella valley where the majority of people are undocumented immigrants, the coronavirus relief benefits does not qualify for them.

“We’re all suffering here. We work so hard in the fields and we deserve some help,”said Gonzalez. 

The Galilee Center is also struggling to meet the needs for those in need. 

“People are not working and they are struggling at the same time so our donations are low,” Gomez said. 

Despite the risk of contracting the coronavirus, workers are still trying to feed as many struggling families as they can.

The food distribution is every Thursday from 2 p.m. and goes until all the baskets have been handed out.

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