Valley food banks serve more people than ever days before Thanksgiving

Local News

MANTECA, Calif. (KTXL) — With Thanksgiving just days away, a Manteca-based food bank is serving more people in need than ever before. 

With bags and boxes filled with food, Aspire Stockton Secondary Academy principal LaNitra Curtis dropped off 300 items donated by students and their families to Second Harvest of the Greater Valley.

“It’s really important for us to give back, especially after the pandemic, and everybody has something to give,” Curtis explained.

Jessica Vaughan with Second Harvest told FOX40 that they’re now serving more than 30,000 people a month.

“Those numbers are still way high, way up. They haven’t gone down yet, and we don’t anticipate them going down anytime soon,” Vaughan said.

She said fundraising has slowed. This year, they’ve raised just a third of what they used to bring in pre-pandemic. 

“It may not be happening as quickly as normal. We may not be seeing the lines of people ready to come in and donate, but those that are coming are giving from their hearts,” Vaughan said.

According to Second Harvest, even though the need for food is still up 200% for the last two years and donations are down this year, people are still giving what they can. 

“It’s important to help people that can’t afford it,” explained Kathy Mamlok who dropped off food donations. “I mean, I’m on a limited income, I have money in the bank and I’m comfortable, so I figured why not.”

The food bank distribution warehouse, located in Manteca, serves eight counties from San Joaquin to the Mother Lode. 

“There isn’t one to look for who it is that is hungry. There’s no set little box that people fit into like, ‘Oh, this is what a hungry person looks like,’” Vaughan said.

Whether it’s one item, one box of food or one dollar, the food bank and those who donate believe every bit is needed.

“The world is still a caring and wonderful place and they’re still people that want to make a difference,” Vaughan said.

The sentiment was also shared by others who donated.

“Everybody can do their part. You don’t have to have like a ton to give back,” Curtis said.

For those interested in donating or volunteering to the Second Harvest of the Greater Valley, tap or click here.

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