Central Valley food banks asking for help during COVID-19 outbreak

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As folks are left without a job, many are wondering how to feed their family.

They're turning to the food bank for help, but the increase in demand is making it harder to keep shelves stocked.

"We have significantly less food than we normally have," says Kym Dildine with the Central California Food Bank.

The Central California Food Bank helps put food on the table for thousands of families in need, but now, they need the community's help to put food on their empty shelves.

"That need is increasing dramatically, and we're having a hard time keeping up just due to the financial constraints," Dildine said.

As businesses are forced to closed to stop the spread of COVID-19, many employees are now without work.

Many who've never needed help from a food bank are turning to them in need, but Dildine says food going faster than it's coming into the warehouse.

"At most distributions this week, they're getting a 50-percent increase to their numbers," Dildine said.

The Merced County Food Bank is also seeing the same problem.
Joseph Hypes says the food bank remains in business, but with the lack of excess supply, they've had to make some changes.

"The side door is where the public could come and get food because of the shortage of food," Hypes said. "We have to close that door so we can get food to the public. Senior citizens are getting more difficult for us to reach right now. Many assisted livings and retirement communities are in severe lockdown, which restricts our access to them."

Help could be on the way. On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the deployment of the California National Guard to help distribute food at food banks.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom deploys national guard to help at food banks during crisis

Both Dildine and Hypes say now, they need help from the community in the form of donations and volunteers.

"We're fundraising, fundraising monetary donations to the community and asking for help," Hypes said.

Dildine says they just purchased a $250,000 worth of food, hoping, for now, that will help keep families fed throughout the Central Valley.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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