Modesto store gives back, a windfall for community food bank

Box Lunch donates meals to the homeless

Alex Bartlett is an iron worker by trade, but he's a food bank volunteer when he's off.

“A lot of food goes out to the kids. It’s nice to help out every once in awhile," said Bartlett.

The Second Harvest Food bank warehouse in Manteca holds 11,000 square feet of food and staffed by 20 workers and volunteers.

There are 15 million pounds distributed to 104 partnering agencies in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Merced and five Mother Lode Counties.

Though there's a staggering 35,000 hungry people being fed each month, the food bank is getting added help.

A new store in Modesto's Vintage Faire Mall called Box Lunch will donate a meal to the food bank for every $10 a customer spends on it's trendy apparel and gifts with a pop culture theme.

“In our area, one in 5 adults and one in 4 kids are struggling with food insecurity on a daily basis. So really it could be anybody. They could have a job and still not be able to make those ends meet," said Jessica Vaughn, the food bank’s development director.

Vaughn gave up 10 years in corporate banking to fulfill a calling to help those less fortunate.

“It’s so amazing to me to be able to go out to a site and hand somebody some apples or some carrots and hear their eyes light up and hear them say 'thank you so much you have no idea'," said Vaughn.

Food is distributed thanks to donations or purchased for pennies on the dollar. Items like dairy, eggs, meat, frozen food and fresh fruit goes to hungry men, women, children, veterans, seniors and more.

Amy Ross volunteered three years for four days a week, before being recently hired as staff.

“It’s actually doing something for the community and for the people. And, a lot of the agencies I used myself," said Ross.

Outgrowing its space, the food bank is expanding to a new 20,000 square foot facility, right next door. It's a sign of the times that despite a robust economy, more and more people still go hungry every day.

The Box Lunch company has 60 stores throughout the nation and plans an official grand opening Saturday, Sep. 23 at it's Modesto store from 12-4 p.m.

There are also locations in Roseville and on Arden Way in Sacramento.

To donate or volunteer at Second Harvest a link is set up on ABC10.com.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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