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National Guard helps prepare, distribute food boxes at Bay Area food bank

Bay Area

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KRON) – It is a mission to help deliver food to those in need. The location? A Bay Area food bank in desperate need of volunteers.

Soldiers in uniform answered the call.

The National Guard is now in Fairfield helping prepare and distribute emergency food boxes at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano.

“We are so thankful to have the National Guard here today in our first run through assembling over 1,000 emergency food boxes,” Joel Sjostrom said. 

The food bank’s CEO Joel Sjostrom talks about the National Guard’s mission.

“They’ve committed to be here with us three weeks. So our intent is to have them here five days a week, continuing to build these emergency boxes of food and produce as additional food to 178,000 clients we serve every month,” Sjostrom said. 

He says he can use the help in light of the food bank experiencing a 30% drop in volunteers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“we understand a lot of our volunteers are in that vulnerable age group,” Sjostrom said. 

Sanitation stations and gloves are on site for health and safety. 

Sjostrom says in times like these food bank services are needed now more than ever.

“So many people have been laid off or have lesser incomes now and it’s just going to push a lot of people to be first time in need of food,” Sjostrom said. 

Over the past two weeks, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has seen a 50% increase in those needing their services at most of their distribution sites.

For the next three weeks the National Guard will be assisting to fulfill that need.

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