San Jose mayor volunteers on Cesar Chavez Day

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo assembled sandwiches Thursday morning at Martha's Kitchen on Willow Street to commemorate Cesar Chavez Day.

"As we remember the words and actions of Cesar Chavez, it should compel us to act. We can all give in different ways. As Martin Luther King said, everyone can be great because anyone can serve," Mayor Liccardo said.

Martha's Kitchen hands out 8,000 sandwiches a week along with 24,000 hot meals. The food pantry also distributes 250,000 pounds of groceries a month. Workers say they are seeing more people in need asking for help everyday.

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"There is so much food insecurity in our neighborhood right now because of the economy. Times have changed. The dollar isn't worth what it was," said Operations Manager Linda Beltran.

"Cesar Chavez obviously has a very deep connection here to San Jose. Having lived here and we have many of his family members who continue to live here and his tradition is felt very strongly here," said the Mayor.

Martha's Kitchen has a location in Watsonville, but it is this location on Willow Street in San Jose that holds a special place in the Mayor's heart.

"This neighborhood has significance to me. My father's family immigrated to this neighborhood many years ago. This has always been a neighborhood of ongoing transition of immigrants, Italians and Mexicans and so many more and Martha's Kitchen has chosen to serve here for a reason."

Employees say they hope the mayor's appearance will bring attention to their non-profit, which is in need of volunteers and donations.



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