May 21, 2024

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Free For All Food

Santa Cruz County foods bank doubles service amid pandemic

SANTA CRUZ – It has been a hard yr economically all through 2020 with unemployment skyrocketing in the spring because of to the coronavirus pandemic, which compelled numerous households to resort to meals financial institutions and food items stamps for the very first time.



a man holding a hot dog: A Santa Cruz County resident receives food Tuesday afternoon at a pickup station at the Second Harvest Food Distribution Center at Loaves & Fishes in Watsonville. (Ryan Stuart -- Santa Cruz Sentinel)


© Furnished by Santa Cruz Sentinel
A Santa Cruz County resident receives food items Tuesday afternoon at a pickup station at the Next Harvest Foods Distribution Centre at Loaves & Fishes in Watsonville. (Ryan Stuart — Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Unemployment peaked at the commence of the pandemic in March and April as the region noticed a web reduction of a lot more than 21.2 million work opportunities, in accordance to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There has been occupation recovery since Could, but the country has nevertheless to attain total restoration and People in america are nevertheless experiencing substantial-scale economic outcomes.

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“Our providers have doubled due to the fact generally February,” claimed Suzanne Willis, chief progress officer at Next Harvest Foods Lender Santa Cruz County. “If you appear at our figures from this time final year to today, we have been serving twice as quite a few persons two times as a lot food stuff.”

Families in Santa Cruz County have been strike in particular challenging between the pandemic and the CZU August Lightning Advanced hearth. The fire destroyed far more than 900 houses. Some family members in the county are now homeless and jobless, forcing them into food insecurity among other economic issues.

“That’s what we’re listed here for, particularly throughout COVID and anything we have seen with the financial meltdown as a end result of it,” Willis claimed. “We’re below to not only aid families get the food stuff that they have to have that can also assist them obtain food.”



a group of people sitting at a fruit stand: Rows of vegetables that are available at the Second Harvest food distribution center at Loaves & Fishes in Watsonville — (Ryan Stuart/Sentinel)


© Supplied by Santa Cruz Sentinel
Rows of greens that are readily available at the Second Harvest food distribution center at Loaves & Fishes in Watsonville — (Ryan Stuart/Sentinel)

Next Harvest provides meals pickups at 35 spots throughout the county. There are 33 typical distribution stations and two travel thru pickups at the county fairgrounds in Watsonville and the Seashore Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.

Inhabitants who are in want of the solutions delivered by the county food stuff bank can obtain nearby distribution facilities on Next Harvest’s web page thefoodbank.org/come across-foodcomida or by contacting the community foodstuff hotline at 831-662-0991.

On the other hand, Second Harvest is much more than just a useful resource for buying up food stuff. Next Harvest also allows individuals in need to have established up and use a CalFresh account, which is the state’s variation of food items stamps, as well as established up an electronic profit transfer (EBT) card.

CalFresh can demonstrate beneficial to both households and will need and the community financial state. Food stamps and EBT playing cards allow for meals insecure families to shop at area grocery outlets so they can get the groceries they want and encourage the regional financial system in the procedure.

The food stuff stamp method allots up to $680 a month for a relatives of four, which can equate to four food pickups at foodstuff distribution, or $204 a month for a one person, according to the 2nd Harvest web page.

“CalFresh is the first line of defense (for) the local community,” Willis stated. “Not only is it providing people today the preference of what they’d like to obtain but it’s an financial multiplier for the county as very well.”

For much more data about CalFresh like how to apply, stop by thefoodbank.org/calfreshinterest or call the local community foods hotline at 831-662-0991.

Inspite of the enhance in need from the community, Next Harvest has been capable to get as a result of the pandemic so considerably and continue to supply foodstuff to people in need. A big component of its capacity to take care of the influx of buyers is thanks to the neighborhood at significant.

“I have to say, the Santa Cruz neighborhood has been so extremely generous. The men and women who even now have their work and however have the skill to assist items like the food banking companies have completed that,” Willis claimed. “With the assist of the community that we have we are in a position to source the foodstuff and distribute it out to the people that want it.”

For more info about donating to the food stuff bank, stop by www.thefoodbank.org/techniques-to-give. Donors can also mail a reward to 800 Ohlone Parkway, Watsonville, CA 95076 or call at 831-232-8663. Donations assist Next Harvest continue on to provide people with foodstuff insecurity.

“We are listed here for the neighborhood,” Willis stated. “We’ll be right here as extensive as they need to have us, distributing the healthy food stuff that folks need to thrive.”

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