Coronavirus: Adelanto drive-thru pantry helps low-income families during emergency

ADELANTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Adelanto residents lined up just outside a stadium parking lot Friday morning for a drive-thru food pantry hours before it was set to begin handing out food items due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It will help a lot, help my grandkids out," said Linda Gomez.

Gomez was among the hundreds of people who sat parked in a line that inched closer to an assembly line of volunteers.

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City Manager Jessie Flores said the idea of a drive-thru food pantry came out of wanting to help seniors impacted by the coronavirus and city closures. But the mission grew to include low-income families and individuals in need.

"Instead of having foot traffic to obtain these services, we decided to create this drive-thru concept so they can pickup the services that we offer within the city of Adelanto," said Flores.

The pandemic has worsen food insecurity in the High Desert community with many children out of school and people who have lost jobs or had their hours cut.

"We were concerned with the fact that there were families that would not be able to access food. Healthy food is a priority in this community. There is only one grocery store, a Stater Bros. in the south-side of town," said Ammie Hines with Another Level for Women.

Volunteers wearing face masks placed boxes and bags of food into waiting vehicles limiting their contact with residents. The food donated came from the High Desert Collaborative and Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino food banks.

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"Whatever it takes we're ready for it. We got volunteers, we got food everything we need," said City Councilwoman Joy Jeannette. The 80-year-old city councilwoman said other efforts were underway to deliver food and meals to seniors who could not leave their homes.

Their efforts much appreciated by residents who say they are trying to do their part as well.

"This is all something we all need to stick together to survive. So, by staying in the house, we're stop the spreading," said Michale Hardy.

The City of Adelanto and non-profit groups said they will continue with the drives for as long as they are needed.
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