SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CALIF. (KION-TV)- In response to the extended power outages due to the recent storm, PG&E is teaming up with food banks in Santa Cruz County to help people who went without power for several days.
According to PG&E, nearly all 1.4 million people who lost power back on Sunday and Monday have had their power restored. The remaining outages are in areas where they say damage to their system was most severe. This involves access challenges, multiple work locations, and the priority of removing fallen trees.
"I feel like everything is hard, everything is expensive, the food is expensive, and the help that there is very good although its a little it's still helpful," said Maria Angelica Zavala who lives in Watsonville.
PG&E and Second Harvest Food Bank worked together to provide food to families impacted by the outages.
PG&E said they used zip codes in areas that lost power during the recent storm for the second harvest to reference when finding places for the food drives. It's a crucial time as some families are still recovering.
"Especially during times like this when we've had severe storms, they are even more important and necessary in our communities. So today, we, are sponsoring and we've been sponsoring, distribution events for great food," said Teresa Alvarado, Vice President for the South Bay and Central Coast Region.
PG&E says this has been the most damaging storm in its history. According to the second harvest foodbank, 67,000 people relied on their services last month. Now they expect that number to rise to 73,000 people in February.
"We recognize that the power, failures that we've suffered due to the weather have impacted many people's homes in terms of their food supply," said Erica Padilla-Chavez, CEO at Second Harvest Food Bank in Santa Cruz County.
Families could pick up vegetables and fruit and other items being distributed friday morning.
"We have partnered with our local fisheries to ensure that our local community not only partakes in our local produce but also our local fish. And so it's all about being healthy and being, resourceful in maximizing the use of what we grow both in, in the ocean and in the land," said Padilla-Chavez.
PG&E says they will be handing out emergency kits through county libraries and warming centers.
PG&E says there are still about 1,000 people in Santa Cruz County without power and another 1,000 in Monterey county.
To help these areas, PG&E and the food banks will help people in the areas with extended outages.
If you're in an area still impacted by power outages, the food distribution will be located at these locations and times:
- 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Sunny Meadows Apartments (220 Ross Ave., Freedom)
- 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Vista Verde Children's Center (1936 Freedom Blvd., Freedom)
- 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.: Buddhist Temple (423 Bridge St., Watsonville)