William Hernandez has been working with the Valley Food Bank in Pacoima, Calif., for 17 years and has never seen such high demand.
LOS ANGELES — William Hernandez has been working with the Valley Food Bank in Pacoima, Calif., for 17 years and has rarely seen such high demand.
From serving $300,000 worth of groceries each year to area families in need more than 15 years ago, the donation-based food bank in suburban Los Angeles now handles upwards of $1.5 million per month. The center has had to adjust its operations to limit volunteers and contacts while going from feeding, on average, around 3,900 families to 10,000 families per month.
“It’s a challenge,” Hernandez, who is the director of the enterprise said, but emphasized in an interview with The Federalist while providing a tour of the facility they’ve been able to manage through generous donations, which have reinforced his faith in public charity. “People want to help.”
Amid the coronavirus panic, California has been among the states hardest hit by the self-inflicted wounds of Democratic-ordered lockdowns tossing residents into unemployment. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrat mayors have declared their ability to sustain themselves non-essential.
California, subject to some of the harshest restrictions in the country, ranks 29th in rates for COVID mortality but 48th in nationwide unemployment with a rate of 8.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast, Florida, a state with a far higher population of seniors as a proportion of its residents ranks 27th in its COVID mortality rate despite its far looser restrictions, giving it an unemployment rate of 4.7.