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Coronavirus pandemic causing major food insecurity in Elk Grove

The Elk Grove Food Bank also plays the numbers game. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,700 new clients have signed up for service.

ELK GROVE, Calif. — Food insecurity was already a growing issue in California and the coronavirus pandemic has only made it worse. Since March, the Elk Grove Food Bank Services has seen a 600% increase in new food bank recipients. 

Every day the food bank feeds 200 to 300 people. Every day 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of food come in and that food feeds those people.

For unemployed computer tech Nathan Thomas, coming to the Elk Grove Food Bank has become a bit of a numbers game.  

“I save $300 to $400 a month food and moneywise,” Thomas said. 

Nine months ago, Thomas lost his job because of the pandemic. Now he and his 7-year-old son depend on the food bank to eat. 

“We are barely scraping by with the canned food and some noodles for pasta,” Thomas said.

The Elk Grove Food Bank also plays the numbers game. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,700 households have signed up for service. Not once in the 46 years of service has Executive Director Marie Jachino seen numbers like this.

“I’m just worried. Where is the money going to come from if this continues? If the number increases, how will we keep up with the demand?” Jachino said.

The numbers game continues with revenue. Revenue that is not being earned because COVID-19 restrictions have canceled major fundraisers. 

“That’s a huge loss for us. A couple hundred thousand dollars,” Jachino said.

It’s easy to get lost in the numbers game, but if there is one solution to this problem it's donations. Elk Grove and food banks all over need your donations. 

If you would like to donate to the Elk Grove Food Bank Services, they are having their annual Thanksgiving Day donation drive this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at their location on Dino Drive.

Continue the conversation with John on Facebook.

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