LOS ANGELES - A small team of volunteers are putting their community first and helping to feed thousands of families during the pandemic.
When the pandemic hit, millions of kids across the country were left without a reliable food source. So school districts jumped into action… offering free meals to students in need. But in Azusa it was a small team of volunteers that made it all happen. Coming together in a time of uncertainty to help their neighbors who needed it most.
"They can be enjoying themselves during summer, but each and every one of them when we told them we have an opportunity to serve our community, they said ‘yes sign me up,’ stated Maria Calderon Director of Nutrition Services.
With just 14 to 20 volunteers the Azusa Nutrition Team served the equivalent of 8,500 meals every week… offering healthy and nutritious meals for free to thousands of students.
"They have a variety and it’s all very nutritious and I love that some of the food that they give, we can cook at home. So it’s not just processed, it’s fresh," said Mary, a mother of three.
"It's very important, especially with all the people that had tough times, especially people that didn't have a job for a bit. This helped us a lot, especially with our bills for food, our bills went for sure down. It helped us a lot," said food program recipient Elizabeth.
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Now that the school year has begun, Anaheim has welcomed back students in-person. Nevertheless, volunteers say even through those tough times during the pandemic, its stuff like this that brings the community closer together.
"What has amazed me more, again, has to be the heart that the employees have for the work that they do, it's really community service," exclaimed Calderon.
The pandemic isn't over and there are still millions of families struggling to put food on the table. If you'd like to help you can always look into volunteering at local soup kitchens, donating food to a local food pantry, or check out national programs like Lasagna Love which matches you with a family in need.
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