Community Food Bank plans to help more families

The action plan is in place. The food giveaways will begin next week in Western Fresno County, and are expected to last through the summer.
May 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
The action plan is in place. The food giveaways will begin next week in Western Fresno County, and are expected to last through the summer.

Just like 2009 long food lines are expected to return in towns on the Valley's west side this summer because of the drought. But many growers on the Valley's east side face zero water allocation so ag jobs will be severely cut back.

This year Orange Cove will be included in the food giveaway, a move Mayor Gabriel Jimenez says will be extremely helpful.

"With people out of jobs the food distribution helps tremendously," said Jimenez. "It's a blessing to our community but at the same time what about to pay our utilities, what about our mortgage, what about the rent?"

The Community Food Bank is awaiting the delivery of food boxes from Sacramento funded through the state. They'll include rice and beans for families in need.

CEO Andy Souza says the first food giveaways will he held Tuesday, May 13th in Firebaugh and Wednesday, May 14th in Mendota, between 9am and noon.

Souza added, "The scary news is that we really don't know to expect at those distributions just because we've seen an increase in our USDA distributions in those communities but we don't know how deep that's gonna go."

The food bank will supplement the boxes with fresh fruit like pears when available. In years past, some families went home empty handed because the food ran out. Souza says that won't happen this time. They'll closely keep track of the number of families in need.

"We've made sure we'll have more food rather than less," said Souza. "It's much easier to take food back to the warehouse than to is to turn families away."

As the summer wears on communities like Sanger could be added to the food giveaway list.

Families do not have to pre-register for the food giveaways, which will be held in Mendota, Firebaugh, San Joaquin, Huron and Orange Cove.


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