The lines have never been longer.
On a given day, Community Through Hope volunteers in Chula Vista typically help 50 to 100 families with food and diapers. The nonprofit needed additional volunteers on Wednesday and Thursday when hundreds of cars with hungry people were parked down the street, around the corner and towards Highway 54.
“It’s bad,” said Rachel Basura. “It’s really bad.”
Basura, a Logan Heights resident, tried to get food at Community Through Hope on Wednesday but said she was late in line.
“We’re suffering out here and it’s hard,” said Basura, who lives on social security.
Its scary. I’m afraid.
Rachel Basura, Logan Heights
Making matters worse, Basura is now competing with people who have lost their jobs due to state coronavirus mandates or with people who have not been able to find what they need.
“We went to the store and actually people took the towels and diapers and they weren’t leaving enough for other people,” said Rosa Amador, who hoped she could get some diapers from Community Through Hope before running out .
“It makes me sad, but as an agency I don’t feel like we’re scared,” said Rosy Vasquez, executive director of the organization. “I feel prepared.”
Vasquez said they could feed about 400 people on Wednesday but would have to turn away hundreds. She said Community Through Hope is expecting at least 500 people, including people with jobs, on Thursday.
“Working families can’t stop working to go to the grocery store, or they didn’t have the extra $ 250 to get food,” said Vasquez.
“It was so hard – it was a mess,” said Amador, who lost hours as a hired cook and then couldn’t buy what she needed after the store shelves were cleared. “I mean it’s crazy … Lots of people really need the supplies and [other people] take more than you need. ”
“It’s scary – it scared me,” Basura said shortly before a bag of food was handed to her. “I’m afraid of coming out of the house sometimes.”
Vasquez said Community Through Hope will work with partners and volunteers to give away groceries to people in need every day.
Community Through Hope partners include Feeding San Diego and the San Diego Food Bank.