With consumer prices going up, food insecurity is an increasing issue, especially for small communities. Having food drives in small communities is essential and can really make a difference in food hunger.
Food drives are a convenient way to distribute healthy food like vegetables, dairy products, canned products, and fresh fruits that people may not be able to afford.
Kern Sol News asked residents in Delano what resources their communities need.
Rosa Rodriguez works in the fields and said she goes to the food drives whenever she can. She said her kid’s favorite food is rice with corn and they always give that in the food boxes.
“I think that some of the resources that Delano needs are just more events like these where residents can attend and learn more about programs that can help us. I know there are a lot of programs to help lower our light and gas bills, but we don’t know how to apply. Also, I’m sure there are other programs that can help us with grocery shopping because groceries have become a little expensive,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said sometimes she is not able to buy specific groceries like spaghetti ingredients, but by getting a food box she can get those ingredients for free and use that money to buy other things.
Sara Garcia is a mom of three and works at Walmart and said food prices going up has played a factor in her household.
“One of the resources that we need more of here in Delano is food drives. Food is getting really expensive and sometimes I can’t buy my kids what they want to eat. With food prices going up I have had to cut back on certain things I would buy before. Like before I would buy frozen lasagna and frozen pizzas because my kids love that, but now it’s either I buy the lasagna or the pizza,” said Garcia.
Garcia said that food drives have helped her to be able to cook her kid’s favorite dishes and also make her favorite juice. She said she usually goes grocery shopping every Monday morning and buys green vegetables to make green juice.
She also said sometimes she has to cut back on buying green vegetables because the prices have gone up, but when she attends a food drive, the food boxes come with green vegetables and she can make her green juice using the vegetables that come in there and still have enough left to use those vegetables for cooking.
“I think having more food drives will be good for the community because I for one really benefit from the boxes. I really like the boxes because it comes with rice, pasta, and marinara sauce. Also, sometimes they give us lettuce, celery, apples, and other vegetables that I use to cook to make my kid’s favorite foods,” said Garcia.
Delano is expanding with more restaurants, clinics, and gas stations being constructed, but Teresa Rojas would also like to see more parks with exercise equipment.
“Some resources that our community needs are more parks with exercise machines. Some of us can’t afford a gym membership so having more parks with built-in exercise equipment will be good for the community. This will be helpful for a lot of us that have kids because we can take our kids with us to the park so they can play while us parents can exercise,” said Rojas.
Rojas said that she tries to live a healthy lifestyle and encourages her kids to live a healthy lifestyle as well.
“In my household, I implement foods with a lot of vegetables and fruits. If we eat meat or chicken, I always include vegetables as a side dish. If my kids want a snack, I give them apples with peanut butter or my kids also love celery with peanut butter. So I do go to food drives and get a food box because they give healthy food like wheat bread, whole wheat rice, and oatmeal which I love to make in the morning,” said Rojas.
One resource that will be available to Delano residents is the Community Action Partnership of Kern will be having a food drive on the first Friday of November at Lifehouse Church in Delano, it will begin at 8 a.m.
CAPK has food access points located throughout all of Kern County, and they are dedicated to combating food insecurity in our community. They help our neighbors access healthy food, which is so important to live quality lives.
“We have food access points that the community in Delano can attend to get healthy and non-perishable food items, and if any more assistance is needed, please call our service directory 211. There you can be connected to not just assistance in food, but to all of the services CAPK offers those in our community who need a helping hand,” said Ernesto Leon, Outreach Specialist for CAPK.