Services face problems of social exclusion
Both Atasquadero (ALF) and Paso Robles Lavers and Pisces (PLF) continued their activities during the coronavirus outbreak. As you can see on the empty shelves of grocery stores in San Luis Obispo County, many are beginning to understand the fear of food shortages. Unfortunately, there are many families in the Northern District who depend on food donations all year round.
We serve many working poor and elderly, says FDP director Maria Madrid Sabi.
Although the organisations have a common name for bread and fish, Atasquadero and Paso Robles food aid programmes are separate organisations with different deployment periods. Every not-for-profit organization has seen the number of participants increase and has adapted its way of working to enable collaboration with as many people as possible. Both refused to have in-depth personal interviews, usually to determine the extent of the applicant’s needs. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, the two organizations also asked not to leave donations behind, but to use online donations to buy food.
We’ll find a way to serve people over 65 who can’t come here, Mr. Sabi said. It was already part of the vision we wanted to use this year, but now we’re doing it a little earlier. It’s different, but it’s actually the same as what we have planned for this year.
Both non-profit organizations distribute food packaging containing as many standard items as possible, which they can supply on a supply line basis.
Customers can choose food and toiletries from the menu, so we don’t spend anything and they don’t get anything they don’t need, says warehouse manager Terry Vale, but we had to change that because of the social distance recommendations.
ALF and PLF officials stated that they see the consequences of panic among people who buy and store food. Although the supply systems are still able to supply the needy with food, they are overloaded.
We get a lot of food from a program called Fresh Rescue, says Vale, where we get expired food from local supermarkets, and it’s usually a good offer for us in terms of dairy, meat and some items on the shelves, but because the supermarkets are almost wiped out, they’re almost completely dry. But we still get the most important products from the SLO food bank and from the shelves, and that supports us in our purchases.
As a faith-based organization, Paso Robles Brood and Vis wanted to emphasize trust and faith in God as a source of strength and hope in these difficult times. The name itself comes from the description of miracles in the Bible, when Jesus provided thousands of people with a handful of bread and fish.
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The truth is that what I mean is that God controls everything here, Sabi said, I believe that God controls everything, he did, and everything is going to be all right.
The ALF is located in 5411 El Camino Real, Atasquadero, and serves the inhabitants of Atasquadero, Creston, Templeton, Santa Margarita and California Valley. The non-profit association works from Monday to Friday from 13.00 to 15.00 hours. Customers are invited to wait outside or in the car of a volunteer who can approach them. For more information or to make a donation, visit atascaderoloaves.org, write to [email protected] or call (805) 461-1504.
The PLF is located at 2650 Spring Street, Paso Robles, with opening hours Monday through Thursday from 11:00am to 1:00pm and Thursday from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. For more information about donating or volunteering, please visit loavesandfishespaso.org or call (805) 238-4742.
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