Thousands dealing with food insecurity due to COVID-19 benefit from distribution of meals

Thousands of people having to deal with food insecurity due to COVID-19 benefited from the distribution of meals in El Monte on Wednesday.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020
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Thousands of people having to deal with food insecurity due to COVID-19 benefit from the distribution of meals in El Monte.

EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) -- A large food distribution reached out a helping hand to people in El Monte. The L.A. Regional Food Bank as well as county and city officials and other organizations came together to make it happen. Thousands of people affected with food insecurity by COVID-19 benefited from Wednesday's event.

Chris Rojas and her son Ryan were the first people in line at L.A. County's latest food distribution. Their family, like thousands of others, are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

"Everything is so stressful right now. This would really help us," said Chris Rojas. "My son, they cut his hours so I'm like the only one working right now in the household."

The lines snaked around several blocks, with hundreds of families waiting hours inside their vehicles, to receive a bit of relief.

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"It's like a big relief for us during this time. It's really a big help for us. We need the basics," said Anna Arevalo.

Four-thousand boxes of food were distributed. Each family was given several dozen meals that included fresh produce, dairy and canned goods, even diapers.

It's been months since this pandemic began, and sadly the demand is only growing.

"Seems to be increasing to us, and that's very much tied to the economy in terms of businesses opening and then closing," said Michael Flood CEO, L.A. Regional Food Bank.

The L.A. Regional Food bank says food distribution has increased by 70% compared to the first two months of 2020. Fortunately, donations have increased too. Farmers, retailers and individuals are all working together to keep food in L.A. county households.

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"It is very disheartening but there's this stamina and will to want to help others," said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

The reality is that demand will continue soar, as concerns of another shutdown loom.

"Our economy won't come back if we have too many people that are sick. And that is a disaster," said Solis. "We don't want that to happen."

Food distributions will be taking place this week in Panorama City, Carson and Long Beach. To find out about distributions, call 211 or go to