Governor Approves Food Distribution Extension

November 10, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
This week's visit by Governor Schwarzenegger had an immediate impact on struggling families on the Valley's west-side.Fresno's Community Food Bank is preparing for its busiest time of the year. Beans, crackers and peanut butter will be handed out along with traditional holiday meals for the needy.

Weekly food distributions in areas hit hard by the drought ended in October but now they'll return in some form. Food Bank CEO Dana Wilkie said, "We hope to be able to go back to providing drought disaster relief like we were over the summer for the west side communities. Hopefully starting as early as December and going through the winter months."

During his visit to Friant Dam to sign a water bond on Monday, Governor Schwarzenegger announced the state was extending the program. Back in June, the governor approved a four-million dollar emergency food relief effort.

On Monday the governor announced, "This has helped more than 15,000 residents a month yet that money is running out so today I'm ordering this food distribution to continue indefinitely into the winter months."

Wilkie says it was difficult telling people in towns like Mendota the distributions were ending. But now they're set to resume. She said, "We're so thankful to the governor even though we're still in a budget crunch he has found the resources to continues our neighbors because they're just desperately in need."

Wilkie says a meeting on Thursday will give her a better idea of when the food giveaways may re-start.

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