Massive Food Pick-Up at Community Food Bank

June 18, 2009 7:24:09 PM PDT
Senator Dianne Feinstein is helping to draw national attention to a growing problem in the Valley - a food shortage among needy families. Action News took in a sight rarely seen but one that clearly illustrates the Valley's difficult times. The mad rush was designed to serve the hungry. A mob scene let you know just how many families are in need.

Volunteers from over 150 different agencies loaded up their hand trucks with free food from the Community Food Bank. It will be distributed to struggling families.

Carol Rock makes her pick-ups with a smile. She said, "It's a feeling of joy. We're the arms and legs that help to feed."

Rock says people contact Mt. Olive Church every day in need of emergency food. The church serves over 300 people.

Rock said, "We have parents who come in with their children. We have seniors. Some of them even come in pushing their oxygen tank."

Distributions aren't normally done this way but Food Bank CEO Dana Wilkie wanted to move the new shipments quickly.

Wilkie said, "What you see behind you is a massive giveaway to our partner pantries. The churches, the head start centers, the senior centers."

Senator Feinstein this week sent a letter urging the Obama administration to help food banks re-stock their empty shelves.

The recession has led to a drop in donations. Wilkie added, "We're working with our partners across the state to get a federal declaration of emergency so that we can get the help our neighbors need, particularly on the west side."

A third year of drought coupled with record high unemployment rates have devastated families on the Valley's west-side. More frequent food giveaways could help communities get through a tough time.

Carol Rock said, "As much as they can help we can deliver. We have the people."

The Food Bank distributes food on the west-side on a weekly basis but would like to be able to deliver more boxes more often in the hard-hit community.

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