FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One of the Valley's largest nonprofits has been working overtime to help close the food access gap here at home.
The Central California Food Bank is packing up fresh milk, potatoes, apples, and leafy greens - all to help end hunger.
"We're actually celebrating about 20,000 individuals served and over 30,000 boxes distributed for our Groceries2Go program," says co-CEO Natalie Caples.
The food bank launched the Groceries2Go program last May from its south Fresno distribution center in response to the pandemic but has since expanded to twelve satellite sites across the Valley.
The continued need for food has increased by more than 30%.
The food bank traditionally serves about 280,000 people a month, but right now they are seeing nearly 330,000.
"But that was also complicated because we had longer-term individuals who are experiencing chronic hunger, right? And their need was also increasing. Maybe they got laid off and they are having to make tougher decisions between paying utilities and pay for gas or purchasing food," says Caples.
On Monday, Central California Food Bank also received a $100,000 grant through CalViva Health's partnership to help fund the Groceries2Go program.
CalViva Health's CEO says the partnership simply makes sense.
"Food is obviously something very important to good health, so it was natural to seek out food banks in our service area, this being the largest one," says Gregory Hund.
Adds Caples: "We're going to be able to take that money and every dollar is stretched to about seven meals right now, so that's a significant impact in our community."
Appointments for the free contact-less pickup can be made online on the food bank's website.
Recipients can receive food twice within a 30-day window.
If you are interested in volunteering, there's a minimum of 2 shifts per week for 2 months.
Central California Food Bank serves 20,000 people with Groceries2Go program