Food Share helps Ventura County's food insecure residents

VENTURA COUNTY (KABC) -- During difficult economic times, one out of every seven people in Southern California experiences food insecurity, meaning they don't know where their next meal is coming from.

To help raise awareness and donations, ABC7 is teaming up with four regional food banks for the seventh annual Feed SoCal Food Drive.

In Ventura County, the Food Share regional food bank serves nearly 75,000 people per month.

Monica White, Food Share's President and CEO, said they're always looking for more help.

"We can always use your hours, we can use your dollars, or we can use your cans," White said.

This is the seventh year Food Share is teaming up with ABC7 for the "Stuff-A-Truck" drive.

"We love having this partnership because this is one of our biggest one day food drives and this is where the community, when they come together, they're going to fill this warehouse and it's going to be very helpful for us to feed our residents," White said.

David Bayer is a former Ventura city firefighter, and a Food Share board member. He's been volunteering at the food bank for 15 years, and said the need for food and support grows each year.

"We're close to a million pounds of food a month, about 11 million pounds a year," Bayer said. "So, we need help."

A big need comes up during the summer, as well. That's because many children get food through school programs, but when schools out, summertime can often mean going hungry.

"Kids are not getting those lunches, those breakfast that they normally get." White said. "So this is very important that people, they donate the food, and we can get those to those kids."

Jennifer Caldwell, director of marketing for Food Share Ventura County, said people often are just one paycheck away from needing assistance.

"Your car could break down and you need to put money towards fixing the car to get you to work," Caldwell said. "But then you don't have that leftover money to help with food and groceries."

Caldwell said 83 percent of those who visit food share pantries only utilize the services once a year, but recently, the need has been greater due to the Thomas fire.

"Which is why the Feed SoCal "Stuff-A-Truck" drive is so important. Getting the extra food so we have it, so we're prepared for any situation," Caldwell explained.

You can find out more about all the ABC7 Feed SoCal "Stuff-A-Truck" locations, and dates or how to donate by clicking here.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.