Huron Food Distribution

April 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The boxes of food helped some people smile for the first time in a long time.One-thousand families in Huron went home with free potatoes, beans, rice and chicken.

The city's economy relies on ag and with less crops being planted, it's difficult to find work.

Gabby Romero from the Economic Opportunities Commission said, "It's really hard. These people are really struggling very much, It's just devastating to see how bad of an effect this water crisis has had on these people

95% of the nation's lettuce comes from the Huron area during a month-long period every spring.

Growers said the lack of water this year has caused a drastic drop in lettuce production, 50% of normal.

Romero said, "It's been very difficult. I've had people talk about how they haven't worked for six months. Some haven't worked in a year."

Lettuce season is a time local businesses make money but hotels which are normally packed now sit empty. Many merchants are struggling and having trouble feeding their families.

Sgt. Robert Herndon a Huron Policeman said, "If the father is out of work a lot of these families are essentially without any income whatsoever so I think the food drive is significant."

During lettuce season Huron's population of 7,400 people doubles in size, which puts a strain on the town's resources,

Sgt. Herndon worries what will happen if the job situation doesn't improve."Typically when unemployment is high the crime rate goes up, the use of alcohol and drugs go up. Domestic violence goes up."

A $50,000 dollar anonymous donation has helped the E.O.C. help more west-side families. Romero said another food giveaway is planned for the Huron area next month.

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