The Community FoodBank of San Benito is seeing a growing number of people in the community who are struggling to put food on the table during the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, some of the most vulnerable families in the county will get some much needed assistance as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing a truck full of food–73,000 pounds worth to be exact–to the local food bank.
Sarah Nordwick, Community FoodBank’s director of community engagement and development, said they have never received a donation nearly as large as the one they anticipate to arrive on Oct. 27.
“That’s huge in a normal circumstance but given the pandemic and holiday season upon us, it’s really going to give our families a chance to have a super plentiful holiday season, hopefully,” she said.
On Tuesday, a truck coming from Utah is scheduled to drop off a mixture of goods such as cheese, butter, pastas, cake mix and flour. When it’s all broken down, the donation will provide 61,000 meals to families in San Benito County.
Such a large donation would normally exceed the food bank’s storage capacity but D’Arrigo Brothers came to the rescue, Nordwick said. The Salinas-based company offered a place to store the donated perishable and nonperishable goods.
“The FoodBank is honored to work with our community partners to ensure this generous donation goes to the most vulnerable in San Benito County,” said Nancy Frusetta, CEO at the Community FoodBank. “We are overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Nordwick said the church has a surplus store and San Benito County was targeted as a county that would benefit from it. She mentioned that they’ve always had a storage issue because their facility isn’t big enough to house this much food.
They got a hold of D’Arrigo Brothers and the company was willing to offer the space to store the dry goods and everything else that needs to be in the cooler. Nordwick said they’ll be able to distribute the food over the course of three weeks.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for San Benito County to be on the radar on a national level, but it’s also an opportunity for neighbors helping neighbors,” she said. “We had a need, D’Arrigo Brothers was able to fill it and the Latter-day Saints church was able to supply it… Hopefully we don’t have to have anybody hungry over the holiday season.”