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Monterey County works with local companies to end food insecurity

Food Distribution

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION)  More than two thousand families across Monterey County received boxes of food at no cost.

Monterey County Office of Education (MCOE) and the Migrant Education Program joined forces with Amor Organics and Aggrigator Inc. from Watsonville to distribute 2,500 boxes of food across Monterey County.

"Look it has grapes, broccoli, strawberries, and apples," said Lorena Reyes.

Lorena Reyes, a mother of three is one of the thousands of families who benefited from the event. It was important for her to receive a food box because the cost of food is rising, she said.

"I told myself I'm going, it's gonna help a lot," she said. "Especially right now that vegetables and fruits are expensive and well, it helps a lot. Not having to worry that you don't have enough money to buy it. Plus my son loves grapes and broccoli."

The boxes hold 14 fresh food items including vegetables. The boxes were given out at public schools and local organizations to families who are in need. Especially to those who are low-income, immigrants, and homeless.

Monterey County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent, Ernesto Vela said, "In Monterey County, there are approximately 74,000 students throughout our public schools. And we estimate about 20% of them that have some financial low income, food insecurity as a result of that low-income status. And so we're just making every effort to eliminate child hunger."

Despite leaving additional boxes at some locations, it still was not enough to meet the demand since more families showed up than what was initially expected.

"When we got here, there was already a line almost all the way around the school," said Aggrigator's CEO Doug Peterson. "We actually left another 50 boxes here so that we could try to supply the food for all these families that were lined up."

However, Vela also said that in the future they hope to offer warm meals.

"It's the goal of the Monterey County Office," he said. "Recognizing that we have a population our community, they may not have a place to go cook a meal we want to work towards offering warm meals to those families so that that obstacle is not in the way and they can enjoy a nutritious meal."

The food distribution effort is dedicated to Alfred Diaz-Infante, who was the CEO of CHISPA.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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