NBC7/39 Lends a Hand at the Hand Up Food Pantry

How a little time makes a difference at a local food bank

The shelves are overflowing but not for long at the Hand Up Youth Food Pantry where more than a dozen NBC7/39 employees volunteered their time to stack, lift, sort and ultimately give food to those having a rough go of it right now. 

From Mac n' cheese to oatmeal, carrots and pasta sauce, granola bars and fruit juice it all goes to help the 480-thousand hungry people in San Diego County.  Among those, are 180-thousand children. 

"When you hear 480-thousand people are going hungry anything you can do to help makes a huge difference, " says NBC 7/39's weekend anchor Artie Ojeda.

"You can actually see the result of the time spent volunteering. It's so organized and well worth it, " adds Jackie Bradford, the station's President and General Manager who shelved cans of tuna, soup, pasta, chile and more.

Employees at NBC7/39 held a food drive and donated most of the 800 pounds of food that were sorted within an hour. After that, volunteers including anchors Catherine Garcia  and Marianne Kushi formed an assembly line and filled 300 bags of the food from the shelves.

This food pantry is the only Jewish one in the county, but serves everyone. It also provides food for Jewish meals and holidays and sends care packs to Jews in the military.

Thirty-nine teenagers help run it They set up food drives and deliver the food. It's also a way to Give 7 or whatever you can do to help.

"So many places are willing to do food drives at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah but it's all needed throughout the year," says Shelly Hahne food pantry coordinator.

"We do all sorts of  Give 7 projects. In this one we were there to see how fast this food goes, and learned who it will be going to, to fill the most basic of needs, that's pretty powerful, " says Samantha Dorman, NBC7/39's sales and community project manager  who summed it all up.

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