Pandemic Numbers Dwindle, Food Bank Lines Increase
Last updated 4/19/2022 at 11:25am
Yes, COVID numbers are falling and yes, folks have returned to work, some even working two jobs to catch up from months of shuttered businesses. Yet, the Tuesday Food Bank lines at the CRC (Community Resource Center) in the Mall have been steadily growing longer and longer. This phenomenon has locals pondering, why?
At the outbreak of the pandemic, two food banks combined to meet the needs of locals living with food insecurity due to massive job losses. The Wermers and Fredericks joined with Borrego Springs High School's Feeding San Diego Program to provide one Food Bank every Tuesday in the Mall. This successful merger has witnessed the number of families seeking assistance grow steadily from an average of 130 to now over 240!
Some say it's the focus on cultural foods that are distributed such as rice, beans, tortillas and eggs that draw folks to the Food Bank. Others say it's the fresh fruits and vegetables that are such a coveted and healthy commodity in our rural town yet often unaffordable in our local grocers and Farmer's Market. It also could be the increase in the cost of all food items to consumers. Or might it be the ridiculously high gas prices that prevent families from driving and shopping in discount food stores in Coachella and beyond?
Whatever the reason, our locals are needing our Tuesday Food Bank and those of us involved are here to deliver with passion! With Borrego's busy season coming to an end and locals facing summer job losses, many are worried once again about making ends meet. This is a harsh reality when combined with the fact that many have not been able to save up to make it through our summers due to months of unemployment over the last two years.
In addition, families are facing the high energy costs that we all will experience this summer. Every trip to the Food Bank equals money that can be saved for SDG&E, gas, rent and other expenses.
Every Tuesday before closing time, dozens of exhausted fathers and grandfathers in uniforms designating their golf course/farm, arrive at the Food Bank from their work "under the sun" to pick up a box of food for their families. Often mothers are working and can't come in to pick up a box or there is only one car per family. These hard working folks are the reason we continue to provide this service to our community. The folks we serve are the working backbone of our village. They groom our golf courses, they work in our orchards, they clean our hotel rooms, they serve us and tourists in our restaurants and they clean our buildings when we are home for the evening. They are most deserving of this access to a reliable and healthy food source.
It should be noted that there are other deserving folks who participate weekly in our Food Bank who are professionals down on their luck, U.S. Veterans, homeless or simply folks on a retired income that needs supplemental assistance.
The Tuesday Food Bank in the Community Resource Center (Noon to 4:30 p.m.) operates under the Borrego Springs Youth and Seniors Center's non-profit status. All donations are tax deductible. Twice a month our food deliveries come from Feeding San Diego at no cost. On the other Tuesdays, food must be purchased and delivered. This is where we are dependent on donations.
We thank you for your previous donations and we hope you will continue to support our families with checks made to: Borrego Springs Youth and Seniors Center, Inc.
Please designate "Food Bank" in the byline and send to PO Box 1362.