The lines have never been longer.
On any given day, volunteers with Community Through Hope in Chula Vista usually help 50-100 families, supply them with food and diapers. The nonprofit organization needed extra volunteers Wednesday and Thursday when hundreds of cars with hungry people inside lined up down the street, around the corner, and out towards the 54 highway.
“It’s bad," Rachel Basura said. "It’s really bad."
Basura, a Logan Heights resident, tried getting food at Community Through Hope on Wednesday but said she she got in line too late.
“We’re suffering out here and it’s hard,” said Basura, who lives on Social Security.
Making matters worse, Basura is now competing with people who have lost jobs because of the governmental coronavirus mandates or people who could not find what they need.
“We went to the store, and, actually, people have been taking the wipes and diapers, and they don’t leave enough for other people,” said Rosa Amador who was hoping she could grab some diapers from Community Through Hope before they ran out.
“It saddens me, but I don’t feel, as an agency, that we’re scared," said Rosy Vasquez, the organizations Executive Director. "I feel that we’re prepared.”
Vasquez said they were able to feed about 400 people on Wednesday but had to turn away hundreds more. She said Community Through Hope expected at least 500 people on Thursday, including people with jobs.
“Working families can't stop working in order to be able to go to the grocery store, or they didn’t have that extra $250 to stock up on nutrition,” Vasquez said.
"It’s been so hard -- it’s been a mess," said Amador, who lost hours working as a paid cook and then couldn’t buy what she needed after shelves were cleared at the stores. "I mean, it’s crazy.... A lot of people really do need the supplies and [other people] are taking more than what they need.”
“It’s scary -- it’s got me scared," Basura said just moments before she was handed a bag of food. "I’m afraid to come out of the house sometimes."
Vasquez said Community Through Hope will work with partners and volunteers to give away food everyday to people in need.