Thanks to volunteers in East Palo Alto, there are more than just meals given out at a nightly food drive.
RELATED: 'ABC7 Better Bay Area: Project Thanks'
Helping others is a way that we can help ourselves.
At the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula in East Palo Alto, like the meals being passed out, people giving back are never in short supply.
Here at East Palo Alto for their nightly food drive at the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula. 2,000 meals are handed out by volunteers every Friday night. Here is the line before the drive kicks off. https://t.co/4BmMorGiz1 pic.twitter.com/8mdPnPWapo— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) July 11, 2020
"It has become a tough ticket within the city, if you want to call it that, to actually become a volunteer either at this location or our Redwood City location," Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula Senior Director of Operations James Harris said.
Even during a pandemic, in just three months, 400 volunteers have lined up to feed people in need.
Among the group, two former mayors of East Palo Alto and current city council members, Ruben Abrica and Lisa Gauthier, who show every weekday night that we're all in this together.
Around 20 volunteers here on this busy Friday night including @City_EPA Councilmembers Lisa Gauthier and Ruben Abrica who have been volunteering every weekday night with the food drive. Leadership at the highest level! https://t.co/4BmMorGiz1 pic.twitter.com/GIy04e9sHq— Dustin Dorsey (@DustinABC7) July 11, 2020
"People believed in me enough to elect me into office and it is my goal and my duty, I feel, to make sure that they are taken care of," Gauthier said. "So, when I come out here and I can make sure that they are being fed, it's the least that I can do."
"This is not about individuals, this is about families, neighborhoods and groups of people helping each other," Abrica said. "So, I am very proud and very excited every time I get the chance to come."
"It warms my heart," Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula Director of Volunteerism and Community Engagement Remi Sobomehin said. "It makes me feel like they understand what we're going through on the ground and what our community is facing when they're in their chambers talking. It feels like we are connecting and they are rallying and speaking for us."
RELATED: Restaurant offers weekly free meals to first responders
From the hands of the volunteers straight to the car, more than 120,000 meals have gone to Bay Area families, free of charge.
Food is donated by the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Each meal is prepared by local businesses who have seen their own struggles due to COVID-19
"The Greg St. Claire Avenir Restaurant Group have the ones that have been providing the chefs for us," Harris said. "They've closed their restaurants, yet they have supplied staffs to come here and cook for us to cook upwards of 2,000 meals each and every night."
A group is only as strong as the individuals.
That strength is on display in East Palo Alto.
RELATED: Coronavirus kindness: ABC7 viewers donate yarn to Morgan Hill blanket-maker after being inspired by good deeds
"If you have a need and you're hungry, we want to make sure that we are providing a meal to them and a service to them," Harris said. "It's super important that people feel like people care for them in this extremely difficult time."
Visit the Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula's website for more information on the food drive and other services that they provide.
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:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- California reopening: Here's what's open, closed in the Bay Area
- Watch list: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- Here's everything allowed to open in CA (and what we're still waiting on)
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- 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
- Experts compare face shield vs. face mask effectiveness
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- WATCH: ABC7 Listens 'From Anger To Action: A Bay Area Conversation'
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US