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Emergency Food Drive-Thru Looks To Relieve Pressure From Local Food Distribution Sites

A volunteer fills the trunk of a minivan with food outside of SDCCU Stadium on March 28, 2020.
Max Rivlin-Nadler
A volunteer fills the trunk of a minivan with food outside of SDCCU Stadium on March 28, 2020.

Hundreds of cars lined up outside SDCCU Stadium on Saturday morning to pick up food donated by the Food Bank of San Diego and handed out by workers from the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

Drivers were instructed to go through the food-distribution lanes with their trunks open, as volunteers filled their cars with emergency groceries.

Up to 350,000 San Diegans are estimated to have lost their jobs in the past two weeks, due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

James Floros, the CEO of the San Diego Food Bank, said his organization is up to the task of feeding San Diego during the pandemic, and recently put in a million-dollar order of food to distribute over the coming weeks. The Food Bank planned on handing out groceries to at least 1000 families on Saturday.

Video: Emergency Food Drive-Thru Looks To Relieve Pressure From Local Food Distribution Sites

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Floros also wants to make sure the food is not only delivered quickly, but safely as well.

“We have put some measures in place at the distribution sites. So we’re exercising the social spacing. Everybody has gloves., hand-sanitizer, what have you, to make sure that people that come into the distributions are safe-guarded,” Floros said.

The San Diego Food Bank plans to hold these mass emergency food distributions each week for the foreseeable future in an effort to help relieve the strain from the Food Bank’s existing distribution sites through its non-profit partners. Floros said those sites have seen demand spike during the pandemic.

“We’re hoping that’ll take some of the pressure off of our agencies, and maybe those lines will come down a bit, so that’s kind of our our thinking about that,” Floros said.

Next week’s drive-thru distribution will take place at the Del Mar fairgrounds, with future mass distributions planned for South Bay and East County.

Emergency Food Drive-Through Looks To Relieve Pressure From Local Food Distribution Sites
Listen to this story by Max Rivlin-Nadler.