Food pantry works to keep up as more Omaha-area families reach out for help
It’s being described as a need beyond prediction; people who were just getting by before the coronavirus crisis now struggling to put food on the table.
Manuel Zepeda lined up at the Together Food Pantry in Omaha on Monday. With his wife, Vanessa, and newborn daughter waiting in the car.
“It’s been really tough,” said Vanessa. “Because my husband just got laid off and he was the only one working, I just had a baby.”
Like so many who’ve taken a hit during this crisis, Manuel was making a decent wage working in a restaurant. Now, for the first time, the family can’t put enough food on the table.
“We’ve been looking for help the best we can because bills are not going to stop,” said Vanessa. “We’ve got rent, we’ve got the phone bills, gas, lights, everything.”
The food pantry itself, struggling to keep up.
“What we’ve experienced in the past two weeks in nothing like what I could have predicted,” said Mike Hornecek, President and CEO of Together Inc. “We went from serving around 150 people a day to serving about 700 people a day.”
A new reality for so many, including a new mom, trying to do right by her baby girl.
“I’m breastfeeding so I have to eat something to feed my baby, and then my husband and me, we have to survive somehow.”
Starting Tuesday the Together Food Pantry will be moving to a drive-thru service. The goal is to provide the proper amount of social distancing by keeping people in their cars. Police will being blocking off 25th St. at Marcy St. for a couple of hours starting at noon.
Today, I spoke with a family at the pantry for the first time. Like so many who’ve lost jobs, this crisis has left them with no other way to put food on the table. @WOWT6News— Tara Campbell (@CampTara) March 30, 2020
In effort to keep everyone save, starting Tuesday the pantry will move to a drive-thru service. The goal is to keep people in their cars to provide social distancing. @WOWT6News pic.twitter.com/Hvfpvpdhrb— Tara Campbell (@CampTara) March 30, 2020