Many people are turning to food pantries in Yuba City in response to the weak economy. A record number of individuals and families across Sutter County California are calling or stopping by for weekly, daily and other regular food and grocery giveaways. Unfortunately donations to the food banks continue to be sparse. So many Yuba-Sutter food banks are now struggling to keep up with the increased demand from people across the region.
Most months hundreds of people stop by asking for some groceries, food, or meals. In some months the number of requests at just the Salvation Army has been as high as 600, which is twice the average from a couple years ago. With children out of college or school, and therefore not eating at summer meal programs, the demand has increased even further during those periods. Many families with as many as six members of the household are stopping by for help, and are walking away with several bags filled with rice, breads, canned vegetables, and beans. While picking up a bag filled with soup, oatmeal, soup and other staples, many local families say that food pantries are critical for residents and the unemployed.
Many local pantries, including the one run by the Yuba City California Salvation Army, are starting to use up the last of the goods that were purchased or donated to them, so the pantries cupboards are getting bare. Demand continues for help continues unabated, and without new food or donations, the centers are not sure what they will do.
Many people are faced with unemployment benefits that are ending, and the Sutter County food pantries are critical for keeping people fed as they continue to look for work. The centers can help people free up their income for other basic needs, such as rent and utility bills.
The local Salvation Army center is just one of many food banks that is struggling with supporting hungry residents. Many people depend on food banks and soup kitchens in the greater Yuba-Sutter County region. Each day, volunteers and others put out stacks of bread, rice, pastries and produce that other volunteers have gathered from area stores and restaurants.
While the food banks are getting more donations from the community, it has slowed up due to the rough economy. They accept any donation they can get, so if you can give, please do so.
St. John's Episcopal Church in Marysville – This center is another place to call for help. The center has had a 64 percent increase in the number of food items and meals it has provided in the first quarter of this year, so they are doing what they can to keep up with demand. Several hundred meals are provided per month. It is kept running by donations from the United Way as well as the post office, among other contributions. Other key donators have been the federal government Community Development Block Grant and items that were provided from the Episcopal Community Services Diocese. (530) 742-8829
Christian Assistance Network also provides to the needy. They have been impacted by a reduction in federal government funding from the Emergency Shelter and Food program, and this reduction in public aid has reduced the number of people it can help. Funding is down and requests are up, so that combination presents challenges.
Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is operated by St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Yuba City (phone (530) 673-7353). Sometimes volunteers can hand out 100-200 meals per day. A typical month would be about 4,200 meals. Fortunately, local farmers recently made a large donation of rice and beans, so the food pantry is just able to maintain itself. More donations are needed in order for the location to keep up with demand.
The economy is bad, and the increasing requests show how much need there is in the community for assistance. Many of the families seeking help have worked before, and need help for the first time in their lives However things like job losses happen to the hardest working people.
Most of the food pantries across Sutter County California collaborate. When one location has a surplus of items, it shares that with other local churches and charities. Most will refer citizens to other available resources in the community too. So people and organizations in the community are concerned, and especially for kids. No one wants to see people go hungry. So they work together to try to prevent that.
St. Isidore's Food Locker - 222S Clark Avenue, Yuba City, California 95991. Office number (530) 673-1573. This location accepts donations from 9 a.m.-11:15 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
The Yuba City Salvation Army - Canned goods and other nonperishable items are provided to the community from 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1p.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at 401 Del Norte Ave. Donations are always accepted too.
The Christian Assistance Network – Call 671-7344 to reach this pantry.
Mother Hubbard's Cupboard – Dial 673-7353
The Gleaners is another center to call. They also accept donations, including money, food and other items from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday. This pantry is located at 760 Stafford Way in Yuba City.
St. John's Episcopal Church – May provide homegrown vegetables, nonperishable food, toiletries, toilet paper and socks from 9 a.m.-noon Monday through Friday. The church is located at 800 D Street in Marysville. Dial 742-6461.
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