The Food Bank opened our new Client Choice Food Pantry at our North County Food Bank facility in Vista for families to receive food assistance.
The food pantry is set up like a neighborhood grocery store. The food pantry offers a variety of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, meats, dairy products, baked goods, nonperishable canned foods, diapers for infants & toddlers, and period supplies.
Pantry clients shop by appointment and are able to self-select the foods that best meet their dietary needs and preferences. Client families can visit the food pantry every two weeks according to their household needs.
Denise and her son Liam recently visited the food pantry, which is open daily, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for families in need of food assistance.
Denise and her family live in Vista and are struggling with soaring inflation. “Coming to the Food Bank really helps us a lot. We are spending so much more on food now. Before, you could go to the grocery store and get a lot of food for about $100, but now it feels like $200 on groceries hardly buys very much.”
“My husband’s name is John. We have two children. Bray is seven years old, and Liam is two years old. Bray is in the second grade at school in Vista. He likes swimming and soccer, and his favorite subject is math.”
“My husband works fulltime for a furniture manufacturing company. My husband got three raises during COVID, but it is not enough. My husband’s pay raises have not been enough to keep up with everything going up. Our rent just went up by $100. Gas and food are so expensive now, and you need money for the car, for the kids and their clothes, and medication and the doctor.”
|“It’s tough on the kids when the fridge is empty. They get uncomfortable and anxious. But I came to the Food Bank, and the kids were happy after they saw a fridge full of food.”– Denise, Vista|
“My two-year-old son Liam stays at home with me because childcare for him would cost more than I could earn. I would be pretty much working just to pay for childcare, so I am staying home with Liam until he starts preschool, and then I will go back to work. Before I had Liam, I worked as an in-home caregiver for senior citizens.”
Denise and her family have had several challenges in recent years. “COVID really impacted our family. I got COVID three times. I got sick at the beginning of the pandemic and nearly died. It was at the time when so many people were dying. Fortunately, I managed to get through it, but I was really scared.”
Now Denise and her family are struggling to make ends meet due to soaring inflation. “It’s tough when the kids see that the fridge is empty. One time we didn’t have much food or any milk, and my son asked, “Where’s the milk, Mom?” My kids get uncomfortable and have anxiety when the fridge is empty. But then I came to the Food Bank, and we got milk and meat and fresh produce, and the kids were happy after they saw the fridge full of food.”
“The Food Bank helps us so much because food is so expensive in the grocery stores. The price of produce has gone up. The price of meat has gone up. The fresh produce that we get from the Food Bank is really good. We really like the fresh fruits and vegetables like the grapes, strawberries, cucumbers, oranges, and apples. We like the peanut butter and jelly and the bread. The ground beef we get from the Food Bank, we use in spaghetti.”
“Last time, we made desserts with the canned fruits we got. We made dessert with the canned peaches last time, and we used the garbanzo beans to make a salad. The diapers and wipes that we get from the Food Bank have also really helped. Diapers are so expensive. It means that you don’t have to wait between diaper changes or use less diapers.”
At the food pantry, Denise received two loaves of bread, two boxes of cereal, a bag of pears, a bag of zucchini, fresh broccoli, a bag of squash, canned meats, canned tuna, a bag of avocados, canned peaches, canned corn, peanut butter, a bag of potatoes, canned chicken, canned green beans, canned beans, powdered milk, bags of dry beans, canned fruits, spaghetti sauce, dry pasta, canned tomatoes, canned ravioli, and diapers for her son Liam.