NAMPA, Idaho — Local food pantries are distributing food to more families this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Some food pantries say that the pandemic is pushing people to access food from them that haven't done so before.
Because of the pandemic, the Traveling Table Mobile Food Pantry had to limit the number of volunteers they would usually have during their food distributions.
"Everybody has made it work; the community has made it work," said Maribel Ramos, an organizer with Traveling Table Food Pantry.
Ramos said they continue to ramp up their efforts because the need for basic food is more significant than ever.
"With rent prices going up, with families being out work, with agriculture winding down, we have a lot more families in need lately. Food becomes a luxury item," she explained.
The mobile pantry focuses on helping the residents in north Nampa but is willing to help anyone in need.
"The north Nampa area is a food desert that it means there's no grocery store within walking distance, and there's a pretty large population that don't have reliable transportation," Ramos said.
While they continue to expect to see more families contacting their local food banks, they are making sure no one is short of food this holiday season.
"I do want our kids in this area, our adults, our seniors to be healthy," Ramos concluded.
The next food mobile pantry distribution is scheduled for December 23 at 10 a.m. at Vida Nueva Nazarene church in Nampa.