San Jose Sharks, SAP volunteer at East San Jose CityTeam food drive to help fight COVID-19 food insecurities

EAST SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- While the hockey side of the San Jose Sharks organization is getting ready for the NHL Draft this evening, the Sharks Foundation is giving back to their faithful Sharks fans who may be struggling during the times of the pandemic.

Today the Sharks Foundation and SAP teamed up with CityTeam in the Neighborhood at Esperanza Middle School for a bi-weekly mobile pantry that serves 250 households on a monthly basis.

The drive provides food, including produce and dairy products, to families who are facing food insecurities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"One-in-four people, prior to COVID, was food insecure," CityTeam in the Neighborhood Director Hermie Smit said. "Since the lockdown and economic fallout, it has gone through the roof. We literally registered thousands of new households and, for many of them, it's the first time they've ever come to a food pantry to come for help. It's just great that we are bringing food to where people live, learn or play. With the partnership of Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, we serve 250 households here on a monthly basis and provide really great food to families that are really going through a difficult time."

RELATED: Coronavirus kindness: East Palo Alto council members, local volunteers deliver thousands of meals at food drive

This is one of 24 mobile food pantries that CityTeam runs in the Bay Area.

Since their conception in 2018, the organization has provided food for thousands of families, like the Vasquz family.

This is the first time that the family has been in need of help and they are so thankful for what they have received.

"I just want to say thank you to the people that are providing us and helping us with all these things," Martha Vasquz said. "My husband is the only one that is working and I have two daughters and I'm expecting another baby, so these food pantries help us out a lot."

Just over a dozen volunteers are needed to keep the mobile pantry up and running.

For those in attendance, it was very special to be able to give back.

"Magical is probably the best word I can use at this point," Volunteer Stacy McGranor said. "It's an opportunity for us to help folks who really need it. If we can give time and a little bit of heavy lifting, the chance to do so is just wonderful."

In addition to the time volunteered, the San Jose Sharks put forth a sizable grant to keep the great work going in East San Jose.

Just another way that the team steps up to help Sharks Territory.

RELATED: San Jose Sharks team up to build new playground for South Bay elementary school

"This project actually came to the Sharks Foundation through our grant cycle," Sharks Foundation Manager Jenné Johnson said. "The co-sponsored grant by the Sharks Foundation and SAP was officially a $34,000 Sharks Foundation community assist grant. When we saw the opportunity to sponsor CityTeam's mobile pantry for an entire year, it was a no-brainer for us. The pandemic has really opened up a lot of opportunities for us to get involved in the community and this was just another opportunity where we could physically and financially get our hands dirty, so to speak, and help out all the community members here in East San Jose that are really in need during these challenging times."

For more information about the Sharks Foundation, click here.

For more information about CityTeam in the Neighborhood, click here.

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:
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.