Across San Diego County food is being donated to families in need. San Diego Unified Food and Nutrition Services is hosting multiple drive thru and walk-up meal distributions on school campuses Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“They give free lunches to kids and, well I’m just blessed to have that help as well because there are other cities or countries that don’t have the same help and children are starving,” said mother of 3, America Hernandez.
The San Diego Food Bank is also offering Food Distribution Programs during the coronavirus crisis. On Monday, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer said the need for food donations is greater than it’s ever been.
Hernandez is mom to 6-year-old Ivan, 4-year-old James, and 2-year-old Derek. She’s also a widow. Her boys’ father died of suicide a few years ago.
“It’s definitely been hard on us emotionally having to stay home with my three boys who are so full of energy and who are so innocent they don’t know much about what’s going on," explained Hernandez.
The Sherman Heights mom was out of a job for three weeks, but she's managed to find employment again. She said she makes sure to get help from San Diego food banks when she needs it and encourages others to do the same.
“Think about your children. They need food, let’s teach our kids now to be humble and to always appreciate what we have,” she said.
Hernandez manages to care for her kids with the help of her sister Bree Hernandez who also has three kids and just lost her job.
“She has three girls and it’s been really hard because when we need to go to the grocery store, we take turns. One stays at home with all six kids while the other one shops,” said Hernandez. “I am so thankful for my sister’s help, it doesn’t go by unnoticed.”
While at home Hernandez shares she's gone through some struggles herself of making sure her oldest son Ivan is getting the best schooling possible.
“My oldest son he is autistic and so he needs more help,” she explained. “He would receive ABA therapies at home with the therapist coming to our house, but now with the situation we are doing it through the laptop.”
Hernandez said despite these hard times and missing her husband she’s always so happy to see how much her sons love and protect each other.
“If there’s any people out there who are battling with depression and suffering from anxiety I just want to let you know that you’re not alone and there’s so much help out there you can feel free to contact the hotline for suicide prevention,” she shared.
If you are in need of help, there's always someone available for you 24/7 at The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the number is 1-800-273-8255.