National Guard called to assist FIND Food donation sites


AP Images

Members of 115th Regional Support Group of the California National Guard load boxes with food at the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, March 21, 2020.

Amaray Alvarez, Staff Reporter

It has been three weeks since Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California would be on lock-down and residents should follow stay-at-home orders.

Since the announcement, thousands of Californians have been laid off or had hours cut from their jobs; causing families to face food shortages and insecurity in an already stressful time period.

Also after the following the stay-at-home orders, Gov. Newsom announced that he would be deploying branches of the California National Guard to provide short-term food security to isolated and vulnerable Californians.

On March 23 the 315th Vertical Construction Company of the California National Guard arrived at FIND’ Food Bank’s Indio warehouse. FIND is a local food distributor that serves Riverside County and has opened more distribution sites in an effort to feed the community.

“It’s in these times of crisis that Californians are at their best, coming to the aid of those in their community who are most in need,” Gov. Newsom said in a press release. “Food banks provide a critical lifeline for families and are needed now more than ever. Families across our state are suddenly losing work, and millions of Californians most vulnerable to COVID-19 are staying home to protect their health and the health of others.”

Volunteers that normally assist FIND are following stay-at-home-orders, which created a need for outside aid. According to FIND Food Bank, they lost 70 percent of their volunteers after the order was announced.

The members of the National Guard are working with FIND to unpack, sort and distribute non-perishables and fresh produce to residents in the area. Along with the group that is at the Indio warehouse, others have also been sent to other cities and school sites in the valley to provide services.

With the influx of people who need food, FIND is projecting that they will now be serving 125,000 individuals every month. This increases its operations by thirty-five percent in the past two weeks.

FIND strives to end people having to choose whether they will spend their money on bills and rent or buy food. FIND helps them by providing them with free food.

On Friday, April 3, FIND held its 10th annual telethon to raise money for the community. The “virtual telethon” included interviews that were done through phone and internet. The telethon was aired on local television and the organization was successful in raising over $550,000.

For those in need of food assistance, FIND has a list of distributions sites in the surrounding cities with their time and date of operation. Per FIND’s website, members of the community who visit these sites must only send one member of their household, not bring children, wear a face mask and are recommended to stay at home if they are showing symptoms.

For more information visit FIND’s website at