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Demand is high for aid
Winter can be a harsh time for hungry families, and the holidays don't make it easier.
While many people in Willows celebrate the season with plenty to eat, others are struggling to put everyday food items on the table.
That is why the Willows Food Bank says that demand for food donations is at an all-time high.
"There is a lot of need this time of year," said Jose Villa, of Glenn County Human Resource Agency's Community Action Partnership. "We do what we can with what money we have. We order food when we have to, but donations are what allows us to stretch that money to purchase particular food items that are needed."
Although need typically goes up as unemployment goes up, higher food prices leading into the winter months are also pinching families in need.
Villa said food requests increased from about 15 to 20 families over the summer months to more than 50 families needing food in November.
Villa anticipates a higher number of food requests this month and January.
During the past few months, Willows real estate brokers and their partners at the title companies have stepped up to provide some of the food needed for hungry families.
Leslie Swaner of All Star Reality said the idea came up at their monthly meeting about three months ago to collect food for the Willows Food Bank.
"This is something we decided to do when we learned there was a need and there was no one else willing," she said.
Food banks rely heavily on businesses and individual contributors to help meet growing demand, and Villa said he appreciates the real estate community's effort and commitment to help.
Willows Realtors and partners delivered about 140 pounds of food on Tuesday, and have pledged to continue their efforts.
"This is a way to give back to the community that has given so much to us," said RaeAnn Titus, of Titus Properties.
Villa said the Willows Food Bank typically provides families with canned fruits and vegetables, rice, macaroni and cheese and other staples.
The Willows Food Bank, which is located behind Glenn County Human Resource Agency at 420 E. Lauren Street, is open 1-4 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays.
Donated food can also be dropped off at that time.
Needed items also include condiments, such as ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, as well as sugar, salt and pepper, Villa said.
Traditional holiday food, such as canned yams, stuffing and dessert mixes, will be welcomed before Christmas.
Beginning in January, the Willows Food Bank will begin transition over to Glenn Communities Working Together, who will take over operations.
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.