By Heather Janssen

YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) — As the pandemic pushes on, the need for food in the community only continues to grow. It’s why CBS13 and CW31 are working with the Rivercats to help close the hunger gap with our Feed the Valley food bank fundraiser.

In Yolo County, a little goes a long way for people like Ysabel Flores.

“I get social security,” Flores said. “My husband works but it’s hard. It’s hard making ends meet.”

Food from the Yolo Food Bank helps her family when it comes to finances, and she says hunger doesn’t discriminate. It can happen to anyone.

“You see all the people,” Flores said while waiting in her car in line for food distribution at the Yolo County Fairgrounds in Woodland. “Even nice cars, but you don’t know their story.”

There are thousands of others just like her, like Jose Orozco. He’s a single dad, trying to care for his daughters and his retired mother.

“Everything helps, especially when it comes down to my mom,” Orozco said. “She can barely walk. Not being able to go to the store – this helps with whatever she can get.”

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Even Rhonda Reese can relate. She’s unemployed because of the pandemic and her husband recently had a heart attack. It’s why she’s willing to wait hours for food in Woodland at their weekly distribution event.

“We were homeless for a little bit, and it helped us a lot,” Reese said. “It helps us with food. We don’t have to go hungry.”

Emma Viera, the non-profit coordinator for the Yolo Food Bank, said the need has grown exponentially because of the pandemic.

“We’ve always had under-served populations – but those folks have come to light in light of the pandemic,” Viera said. “We’ve seen it double, if not more than double, since March.”

But for people like Flores, what especially boosts her spirits are the smiles she sees from the volunteers as she picks up the ingredients to a brighter day.

“It just shows they love the community too,” Flores said. “By taking their time to help us.”

Stories like these are why CBS13 and CW31 are hoping to close that hunger gap, and working with five local food banks. To donate to the Feed the Valley food bank fundraiser, you can text ‘GIVE’ to 916-376-4724.

Heather Janssen

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