Since the onset of COVID-19 one year ago, Food Share, Ventura County’s largest hunger-relief organization, has distributed more than 26 million pounds of food, providing more than 21.6 million meals to people in Ventura County. That’s the most amount of food ever distributed in the organization’s 43-year history, and nearly double the previous high of 13.5 million pounds in 2019.
“The numbers really show the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the health and economics of our community,” noted Monica White, Food Share’s President and CEO. “To put some context around it, that’s the equivalent of feeding a sold-out Dodger Stadium three meals a day for the entire baseball season, plus the playoffs and the World Series.”
To ramp up operations to the level needed to meet the increased need, Food Share has relied heavily on the support of the CA Air National Guard, plus thousands of individual volunteers who, collectively, have given more than 76,000 volunteer hours to support Food Share’s mission over the past twelve months.
“We truly cannot thank our community enough for their support, whether it’s been through food drives, or monetary donations or volunteer hours,” commented White. “While we celebrate the news of decreased COVID cases and increased vaccinations, we can’t stress enough that the vaccine doesn’t cure hunger.” White added, “Food Share continues to see the negative economic impact on the members of our community due to COVID-19. We anticipate needing to provide additional food support for many more months and years to come.”