Thumbs up: Keeping meals on the table

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Thumbs up for the Redwood Empire Food Bank and its generous benefactors, without whom hundreds of local families would have a harder time putting meals on the table. The food bank, which helps distribute more than 15 million pounds of food annually, stepped up its efforts after last fall’s fires, adding drive-through distribution centers in seven cities. Since the program started on Oct. 14, 28,000 households have benefited.

Demand has dropped from a peak of about 1,200 households weekly right after the fires, food bank officials told Staff Writer Hannah Beausang, but about 500 households still use the drive-through centers each week. The number of volunteers has fallen off, too, and the food bank is looking for people like Jorge Bahena to help keep the program going. “Instead of wasting my time on something else,” he said, “I help people get food.”

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