Central California Food Bank facing shortages with supplies, volunteers

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley families in need were still getting assistance in the form of beans, bread and many other items. But the number of volunteers at the Central California Food Bank has tailed off after the holidays in typical fashion.

More people have returned to school and work.

Food Bank Co-CEO Natalie Caples explained, "Where right now, I think we have right now eight or nine volunteers working, a normal volunteer shift would probably be closer to 20 or 25."

Caples noted supply chain issues have also impacted the kinds of food they're able to buy and have donated.

She said, "A product that we used to get in two weeks is now going to take two to three months and so what are we doing in the interim."

Early in the pandemic, the food bank bought a lot more shelf-stable items because of expected shipping issues.

The store shortages some shoppers have seen have extended to the food bank.

Caples said, "For us, it's interesting. We're having a really hard time finding things like pasta, macaroni and cheese. Wholesalers that we would normally purchase from for these types of shelf-stable products are filling orders with our retail partners and grocery stores first, so there's less availability for food banks."

Everyone must have their temperature checked before entering the food bank

A few staffers have come down with COVID during the pandemic but the volunteers have stayed healthy, which is important when you consider how much food needs to be made available for valley families.

If you're interested in volunteering at the food bank, visit their website.
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