Community Food Bank prepares for longer lines due to drought

FRESNO, Calif.

The long food lines serve as lasting images of the 2009 drought. People waited patiently in towns like Mendota, Firebaugh, Huron and San Joaquin. Sometimes the food ran out.

Kym Dildine says the Community Food Bank is now looking at more efficient ways to deliver food. She knows the need will be much greater this time around.

"We're going to try to do it different so people aren't standing in line all day in the sun. We're going to try to create some spaces that are indoors," said Dildine.

Such as warehouses and vacant buildings. Dildine says the food bank will register people before the giveaways, which could begin by the end of April. Details though must first be worked out with the California Department of Social Services.

"The reality is that people are out of work now and they want to be working, and so we are ahead of the game. We're already seeing an increase in our regular distributions," said Dildine.

Ag jobs many families rely on the west side and the east side of the Valley aren't available because hundreds of thousands of acres have been and will be idled because of the drought.

"Many communities will go to 50-60 percent unemployment, and again these are people who are normally working and have found themselves on fallow ground," said Dildine.

Because so many more families will rely on the food giveaways, the Community Food Bank will be joined by other groups at the events-- groups like the Salvation Army and others providing job training.

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