The California Military Nationwide Guard helps the San Jose Meals Financial institution
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – Make your way to a nonprofit pantry and there’s a good chance your box of groceries was packed by a soldier.
As of late March, more than 50 members of the California Army National Guard have been boxing food at the second harvest in San Jose’s Silicon Valley.
“This is unprecedented,” said Cat Cvengros. “We are on so many levels in an unprecedented time.”
Cat Cvengros, spokeswoman for the food bank, says the soldiers work all day.
A smaller group of civilian volunteers then take on the packing duties at night to make sure everyone can keep a safe distance.
“We don’t know how long they’ll be helping us here, but we know the need is only increasing,” said Cvengros. “So we hope much longer in the future so that we can continue to meet this demand.”
The soldiers work quickly and pack up to 14,000 boxes of food every day.
The food is then delivered to more than 300 of the food bank’s partner organizations in the Bay Area.
This allows families to collect groceries with minimal contact.
“What you see in boxes here today are product boxes,” said Cvengros. “But we will also be handing out refrigerated boxes of protein items like eggs and chickens and some dry goods.”
According to Cvengros, the demand is currently high.
Before the virus, the food bank supplied around a quarter of a million people, a number that has at least doubled in recent weeks.