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Food Pantries Facing Shortages During Coronavirus Pandemic

IRVINE (CBSLA) -- Food pantries in Southern California are in desperate need as more families come to them for assistance.

6,100 vehicles moved through one location in Anaheim over the weekend -- an increase of about 2,000 from the previous week.

"Our drive-thru is to serve as a safety net for the food pantries that have closed, but also to provide additional food to the newly unemployed or what we're calling the 'newly vulnerable' population in Orange County," said Second Harvest CEO Harald Herrmann.

The pandemic has resulted in the closure of over 100 food distribution centers in Orange County.

Officials say this is putting pressure on the pantries that are able to stay open.

South County Outreach has seen a 700 percent increase in demand at a time when donations are low.

"We work with normally 300 corporate, individual and school food partners in about a two-week period," said President and CEO Lara Fisher. "Right now, we're down to 10."

Fisher said the organization has about 40 percent less supply compared to where they were last year, but the need for food has increased.

This pantry, in particular, is asking the community for donations, specifically for these eight items: milk, pasta and sauce, beans and rice, peanut butter and jelly, and citrus, preferably picked from your yard.

South County Outreach is located at 7 Whatney, Suite B, Irvine, CA 92618. They're open Monday through Friday by appointment only during the pandemic. Call 949-380-8144 for more information.

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