BRENTWOOD, Calif. (KRON) – As we lead up to our parent company Nexstar Broadcasting’s annual Founder’s Day of caring, we are spotlighting the essential service the food bank of Contra Costa and Solano is providing in the East Bay. 

KRON4 went to Brentwood; where even as we are pulling out of the pandemic, food insecurity continues to grow.

More than an hour before this drive-thru food distribution site opens, cars lined up in the parking lot outside the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Brentwood. 

Living on a fixed income in retirement has been challenging for Matthew Durkin, who says the food distribution, “I mean, it’s really great.” More than 200 families receiving produce from the food bank of Contra Costa and Solano are in a similar boat. 

“(This) helps out. If you run out of money or you go to the grocery store and something’s not there, you might be able to find it here,” visitor Alan Shepard told KRON4 news.

The food bank runs this distribution site twice a month, but its trucks deliver food in communities seven days a week all year-round. 

Visitor Helen Zimmer says, “when I was raising my kids, I didn’t have any of this.” 

And, until recently, Helen Zimmer never had to rely on the food bank for nutrition. In fact, she used to volunteer for the organization. 

As time has passed, her life has become more expensive, and her income does not budge. “Gas, everything. Everything. Everything I go to shop for in the store is a dollar more,” she says.

At the distribution, each family gets about 25-pounds of produce. The food passed out at each event is enough to feed more than 900 people, and demand is growing. 

Overall, the food bank is serving about 60% more people a month now than it did before the pandemic. 

Supervisor for the event Matthew Durkin told KRON4, “(in) this drive-thru alone, we’ve seen an increase of 10% each month since 2019.” 

He explains, “when our community needs us, we’re here for them,” and, many of the people preparing and loading the groceries are doing so for free, out of the kindness of their hearts.

“People really need this and it’s just the most wonderful thing that I’ve ever seen,” Zimmer said.