Honda Center in Anaheim turned into a drive-thru food distribution site Saturday morning for anyone in need and economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County announced on its Facebook page that volunteers would be handing out bags of shelf-stable foods from 9 a.m. to noon in the Honda Center parking lot.
Honda Center is located at 2695 East Katella Avenue. Drivers were asked to enter off of South Douglass Road.
The vehicles began lining up on Katella Avenue as early as 5 a.m., the food bank’s Chief Mission Officer Claudia Keller said.
“It is still mind blowing how quickly these folks have been impacted,” Keller said.
By 8:30 a.m., volunteers were already putting bags of food into people’s cars and trunks as they passed by the distribution area.
Keller was not sure if the supplies would last all morning but said, “we will be here until noon or the last bag of food is distributed,” she said.
Drivers do not need to exit their vehicles as the volunteers are practicing safe-distancing measures.
The Second Harvest Food Bank is hoping to make this a regular Saturday morning event but is in need of volunteers and cash donations.
“Three weeks ago was a different world for us,” Keller said. The center needs to buy food in bulk and is in need of donations to make that happen.
Disneyland, which remains closed amid the coronavirus outbreak, recently donated its excess food to the nonprofit organization.
The center is also losing volunteers due to social distancing, although Keller said food banks are exempt from the “Stay at Home” order and urged people to come and help. Anyone who would like to donate or get involved can go to feedoc.org.
Other non-profits, such as Community Action Partnership of Orange County, are facing similar trouble.
“Nobody’s doing food drives in an environment like this, and the food industry has been challenged to stock grocery stores so there’s no surplus food to donate,” the food bank’s director Mark Lowry said.
And Waste Not O.C., which collects and distributes unused food from restaurants, has seen businesses completely halt or significantly reduce their donations.
To help any of these non-profits continue their service to the community, please click on the links above.