"You know that this is important sustenance for them every week," said San Jose resident Tulin Melton, who spent Wednesday afternoon volunteering at a drive-thru food distribution site at St. Martin of Tours Parish. "It's really hard to see the diversity of the people coming through and what they need."
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County has been coordinating weekly distributions at seven parishes throughout the South Bay.
Melton added, "You see the families coming through with lots of small children or cars coming through with multiple families in one vehicle, and then you see the people who are new this week, who are uncertain and are not sure of the process."
RELATED: San Mateo company launches free takeout system to support struggling eateries
The St. Martin giveaway had enough food boxes for up to 750 families, but organizers expected the demand to be greater.
"It's hard to see when cars are broken down, it's only going to get worse," said Araceli Gonzales, a program manager with Catholic Charities. "Right now we have to think when people start not having enough money for gas."
Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is now preparing up to 20,000 boxes of food a day for community partners to distribute.
"We are doing all we can to bring in the food that folks need, to be able to get it out to these drive-thru sites, and it really takes all of us coming together to be able to make this happen," said Second Harvest chief executive officer Leslie Bacho.
This week, the food bank is getting a lift from the 144 Fighter Wing of the California Air National Guard, based out of Fresno.
"Whether it's working at a food bank or natural disaster, the fires... a lot of these members have been deployed to the fires last year, a lot of these members have been deployed overseas," said Lt. Col. Lennie Lujan, who described his team members' commitment to the community.
RELATED: How to prevent bringing COVID-19 home after a trip to the grocery store
As daunting the task, there's a feeling of hope as the airmen do their part in the battle against COVID-19.
"Each day we celebrate that win, what are we doing to provide food for everybody in the area and why are we doing it," said Master Sgt. Sophia Rodriguez. "That's what is really driving the passion behind the work that's happening here."
Catholic Charities says the food drives are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Recipients will need to register on-site in their vehicles.
"I think there's this kindness and gentleness and willingness to support one another, that's really important," said Catholic Charities chief executive officer Gregory Kepferle.
Church location/date and time of food distribution
- Our Lady of Peace - Santa Clara (Monday, 10am to noon)
- Our Lady of Refuge - San Jose (Tuesday, 5pm to 7pm)
- Most Holy Trinity - San Jose (Tuesday, TBD)
- St. Martin of Tours - San Jose (Wednesday, 1pm to 4pm)
- St. John Vianney - San Jose (Thursday, 9am to 11am)
- St. Lucy - Campbell (Friday, 10am to 12pm)
- Santa Teresa Parish - San Jose (Saturday, 12pm to 2pm)
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here. Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- Coronavirus data: See how the curve of COVID-19 cases is bending in each Bay Area county
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- Stimulus calculator: How much money should you expect from coronavirus relief bill
- WATCH: ABC7's interactive town hall 'Race and Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation'
- What Bay Area tenants need to know about rent payments, eviction amid COVID-19 outbreak
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- Coronavirus and the new normal of living in the San Francisco-Bay Area -- COVID-19 Diaries
- Happy hour goes virtual as people try to be sociable while social distancing during COVID-19 crisis
- Coronavirus Outbreak: Here's why you should practice 'social distancing'
- DRONEVIEW7: What the Bay Area looks like during the coronavirus shelter-in-place
- ABC7's drive around San Francisco shows empty streets, businesses shuttered
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- Canceled late fees, free services available amid COVID-19 crisis
- Here's how you can help during COVID-19 pandemic
- How to maintain learning during school closures
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions
- Asian community fighting racism, xenophobia, bigotry as world fights COVID-19