By Maureen McNair
Twelve hundred cars drove through the North Island Credit Union Amphitheater to receive free food the last day of March. The Amphitheater, located off Hwy 805 and Main Street in Chula Vista, was the sight of the ﬁrst of two massive food distributions Feeding San Diego is holding in Chula Vista. The next one is tomorrow.
Feeding San Diego distributed over 60,000 pounds of food for about 5,000 people in the ﬁrst distribution.
The mass distribution did not diminish the size of the food distribution at our South Bay Food Pantry which was held three days later.
Dan Shea, Feeding San Diego CEO, said, “Chula Vista is one of the cities in greatest need of food assistance in San Diego County.”
The second mass distribution is scheduled for tomorrow because, Shea explained, “there is still a massive need for help due to the fallout from the pandemic.”
During the pandemic, there have been weekly food distributions at two schools in southwest Chula Vista, the quadrant of the city where our pantry is located. However, those distributions will decrease in frequency and size now that schools are starting to reopen according to the Partnership Coordinator for Feeding San Diego. So, we are expecting the number of guests we serve to hold steady or perhaps grow.
Our South Bay Food Pantry does a walk through food distribution on the strip mall sidewalks outside our three suites. We would not be able to handle a drive through food distribution because we would not be able to handle the trafﬁc ﬂow safely.
Trafﬁc control for our pantry means servicing clients coming in and out of only one driveway. We share that driveway with the other strip mall tenants. And, we cannot let cars back up onto Broadway, the street where the pantry is located, because not only is it a busy street, but the curbs on both sides of our one driveway are painted red. We handle trafﬁc ﬂow with staggered admission times and trafﬁc cones.
We are hoping the federal relief legislation which provided direct cash payments and an increase in the amount of SNAP beneﬁts (formerly Food Stamps), will help stabilize the community. However, until no one is lined up on Saturday mornings for food, we remain committed to our free food distribution.
As ever, thank you all so much for your continued generosity!
The First UU Church of San Diego blog is your resource for upcoming events and past event recaps. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!