Paying For Help at Food Distributions

October 2, 2009 2:46:24 PM PDT
Volunteers make up the engine firing up the long food lines in drought-stricken Fresno County communities like Huron and Firebaugh. "We need people to stay and help unloading the food in the cars." However, lately, this powerful workforce has been losing steam. Maria Ramirez with the Community Food Bank of Fresno said, "It's that dire that we need some help." Ramirez said the volunteer shortage is so drastic the food bank had no choice but to contract with the California Conservation Corps. "They're helping with a lot of the loads and also creating meal boxes."-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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On Thursday, 15 young men and women dressed in their beige and blue uniforms, were paid to distribute food in Huron. Mica Guillen who's been lending a helping hand on her free time for two years now said, "I think it's really unfortunate that that's the way it is that people don't want to help anymore or help each other without being paid or getting something for it."

Ramirez said an anonymous person heard about the lack of volunteers and donated $10,000 so the food bank could hire help as needed. For these young workers, it's more than just a paycheck. Tam Luong, a Corp supervisor said, "We bring them in to train them how to follow discipline and instruction."

Next week, the anonymous donation will pay the wages and room and board for a group of corps members from Stockton who will hand out food to people like Jesse Macias. "I know I need food at home. It's kinda getting hard on us too. I see a lot of people in town with just no work."

If you would like to help the Community Food Bank but aren't able to do so during the week, you can pitch in on the weekends. The organization is preparing food boxes ahead of the distributions to make the lines moves faster during the giveaways.

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