The struggle continues to provide food to Yuba-Sutter locals during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Groups such as Yuba-Sutter-Colusa United Way, along with the Yuba-Sutter Food Bank and COVID-19 Relief Task Force, are trying to make it easier on families.

According to Bob Harlan, of United Way, the task force’s mission was to prepare Yuba-Sutter Food Bank and 24 Yuba and Sutter County food pantries for an influx of people suffering from COVID-19 related unemployment.

Harlan said the influx did not materialize right away, given the assistance by the federal government in the form of  $600 per week to people furloughed or let go due to the COVID-19 shutdowns. 

“In talking with several food pantries in the past couple of weeks, their demand is up, but not to levels that had been feared early on,” Harlan said. 

Food Bank Chief Executive Officer Michelle Downing said one of the ways the food bank counteracts increased demand is through the food rescue program where it partners with 12 Yuba-Sutter grocery stores.

The stores, Downing said, donate excess perishable items to families in need. 

“Together we’re committed to reducing the needless waste of good food to feed our families and resources,” Downing said. 

She said Sam’s Club, Bel Air, Raley’s, Target, Food Maxx, Walmart, Save Mart, Big Lots and Smart Food Service are members of the donation program. 

Since the pandemic struck in March, Harlan said the task force has taken in $156,303 and has collected more than 140,000 pounds of donated foods.

All available proceeds are going to provide nutritious foods to local residents, Harlan said. 

He said the task force is also providing $10,000 in local restaurant gift cards to the FREED Center for Independent Living to help provide extra assistance to seniors and disabled persons.

Harlan said this year nearly $240,00 has been raised or donated through the multiple organizations to help provide needed food help to area residents. 

Downing said the food bank is always accepting monetary donations in a variety of ways. The public can visit or text GIVE to 2908005 on your mobile device. Or call  290-8005.

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