BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The 23ABC Senior Food Drive has finally come to a close. We collected a ton of donations and were joined by leaders within the community showing their support for our senior citizen population.
“In southeast Bakersfield we have about 60,000 people we have one grocery store,” said Eric Arias, City of Bakersfield City Council Member for Ward 1 Southeast Bakersfield
Arias said in Ward 1 they are suffering from a food desert which is why drives like this are so important.
Community members have been dropping off donations all Thursday.
Some community members have said that dropping off donations for seniors is so important.
From canned foods, pasta, rice, and even hygiene products. A Bakersfield resident said, “I donated beans, granola bars, protein bars.”
Chief Operating Officer at Countryside Market and Restaurants Raji Brar gave back by using her businesses as drop off locations.
“The turnout has been amazing; we’ve had so many folks come out. Right away soon as the bins were put out, we had folks bringing in donation it’s been wonderful.”
Volunteers collected donations dropped off by giving community members. “I was out there at one time, and I know how hard it can be to come across food, and money for food. So, it’s really nice being able to help,” said Janaeh Cotton.
Volunteers like Janaeh Cotton said they are happy to give back to seniors in need in our community.
“There’s people out there who actually need this stuff, they aren’t fortunate enough they are homeless of something.”
Ora Frink with ShePower Leadership Academy said this is an important time to give back.
“We’re still coming out of a pandemic where a lot of our seniors are afraid to go out and about, not only that, prices, they are all going up.”
If you’re one of those seniors in need, help is readily available. “All you have to do is call 211. We can either find a distribution closest to their home if they are homebound. We have an amazing coordinator; his name is Matt, and he is happy to help. We are doing deliveries to some homebound citizens who need the delivery.”
Community member Lisa Cars said if you can, donate. “Come and donate. It's a good feeling when you donate and give to someone that is in need. I know that if I was able to give a little, I know someone would be happy to receive this and I know it will give someone a smile to receive something like this today.”
Last year we were able to provide more than 12,000 meals and this year with the help of the community we are able to provide more than 40,000 meals. Boxes like these will be going out across Kern all to alleviate the pressure that inflation and the pandemic has put on our seniors. If you missed the 23ABC donation hours there’s still time to give back.
“At our locations we’re willing to accept as long as need be so you’re more than welcome to come to any countryside. We’ll take donations year-round if we have to.”