Across San Diego County, food banks are seeing a record number of people in need as many are without a job. Many different groups and volunteers are stepping up to volunteer or donate food and some are getting creative with the ways to give back.
In Normal Heights, the community has transformed one family’s driveway into a free farmers market offering donations of fruits and vegetables and even cat food.
“This gives people in our neighborhood the ability to grab a few things they need and maybe chat with their neighbors who they haven’t seen in a really long time and just make it a really nice way to give back to people in Normal Heights,” said Normal Heights resident Elisa Muchmore.
Muchmore owns Peel Simply Skin off Adams Avenue which is temporarily shut down due to the pandemic.
“You don’t know who in your neighborhood is elderly, you don’t know who is sick, you don’t know who actually needs help and I think people assume somebody else is helping them until you realize that nobody is,” Muchmore said.
In Chula Vista, Community Through Hope has grown their food drive.
“Our numbers have doubled over five times the amount of people that are in need of nutrition,” explained Rosie Vasquez, the Community Through Hope Executive Director. “So, it is a little daunting, but I'm very grateful to the San Diego food bank to Feeding San Diego and to those who have donated.”
Community Through Hope feeds about 500 people every Tuesday and Thursday.
“I feel really blessed that even though I know a lot of folks have had to stay home, I feel very fortunate that I get to see every day just the human Spirit get lifted,” Vasquez said.
Community Through Hope in Chula Vista gets its supplies from the San Diego Food Bank, Feeding San Diego as well as other private donors.
Alejandra Castañares said she’s been out of a job for almost two months and has not had much success at other food drives until Tuesday.
In Spanish Castañares told Muchmore, “Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Muchmore said she would like to host the farmers market weekly or even bi-weekly if they can gather enough donations from the community.