There are millions of American households that struggle to put food on the table every year, but now — millions more are in trouble because of the coronavirus pandemic.
COVID-19 isn’t just making people sick, it’s costing millions their job, a paycheck, even a place to live.
Community organizations in the Bay Area don’t want hunger added to the list of problems and they’re acting fast to prevent it.
“We want to make sure that in this difficult moment and in these difficult times, people are eating,” said Raynard Hillis of the San Francisco African American Faith-Based Coalition.
In Daly City Wednesday, the coalition worked with the Department of Public Health and other groups to pack up vans and U-Haul trucks with turkeys, fresh fruits and vegetables, and gift cards and deliver them to more than 5,000 struggling families whose lives have been turned upside down by COVID.
“When COVID hit and it began to stretch month after month after month, our numbers began to quadruple,” said Hillis.
In San Jose, a similar project of giving this holiday season was underway.
“We have a brioche with egg and bacon, for lunch, we have honey walnut shrimp and some side salad, and for dinner, we have a filipino mung bean stew with roasted chicken,” said Janelle Ferrer of Hunger at Home.
Bay Area Civil Engineering and Landscaping Company Sandis decided not to send gifts to clients this year. Instead, donating that money to the organization Hunger at Home which gives away more than 30,000 pounds of food a day.
“It felt like the most impactful way we could make a contribution,” said vice president of Sandis, Laura Cabral.
Hunger at Home meals are gourmet — prepared by executive chefs. Hundreds of cars line up on distribution days for the hot meals.
“We’ve seen not just the number of cars grow but something that we’ve seen recently is cars are representing their own communities and bringing in two to three different families. They represent three families, four families,” said Hunger at Home CEO Ewell Sterner.
Those who qualify for federal assistance have found support there, but for anyone who can’t get that relief, these are the teams who step in to help.