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California Army National Guard helps San Jose food bank


SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Head to a non-profit food pantry and there’s a good chance your box of groceries was packaged by a solider.​

Since late March, more than 50 members of the California Army National Guard have been boxing groceries at Second Harvest of Silicon Valley in San Jose.​

“This is unprecedented,” Cat Cvengros said. “We’re in an unprecedented time on so many levels.”​

Food bank spokesperson Cat Cvengros says the soldiers work through the day.​

A smaller group of civilian volunteers then take over the packing duties at night to ensure everyone can maintain a safe distance.​

“We don’t know how long we’ll have them here helping us, but we do know that the need is only increasing,” Cvengros said. “So we’re hoping much longer into the future, so that we can continue to meet that need.”​

The soldiers work quickly, packaging up to 14,000 boxes of groceries per day.​

The food is then delivered to more than 300 of the food bank’s partnering non-profit organizations around the Bay Area.​

This allows families to pick-up groceries with minimal contact.​

“What you’re seeing here boxed today are produce boxes,” Cvengros said. “But we’ll also give out boxes that are refrigerated that have protein items, like eggs and chicken, as well as some dry goods.”​

Cvengros says demand is high right now.​

Before the virus, she says the food bank served about a quarter million people, a number that has at least doubled in recent weeks.​

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