An estimated one in five people in Kern County is at or below the poverty line. And, for many it's a struggle just to put food on the table.
But, you can help make sure your less fortunate neighbors don't go hungry this holiday season, at our annual food drive Wednesday.
Keeping the shelves at the Kern County Food Bank stocked is a constant struggle.
On distribution days, up to 500 people come here looking for their next meal.
"I had a few of them that used to tell me they lost their jobs and they were kind of embarrassed to come there, but then they got to sayin' well I've got to feed my kids," said Linda Delouth, volunteer
Linda Delouth volunteers her time sorting and handing out food. She and the other workers say the face of hunger has changed.
"There has been, in the past, a stereotype against people that utilize food bank services, whether they're lazy, they're burnouts, but that is just not true. The reality of what we're seeing, there is a new generation of what we call the 'working poor', people who have jobs, people who have advanced education," said Ian Anderson, Program Manager, CAPK.
And, more than half of the food recipients are under 18.
Lorena Cavadas and her daughter Crystal found themselves in need.
"Because we're struggling financially. My husband is the only one working and he's the only one paying bills, food, gas and rent," said Lorena.
"It's really hard, especially since I can't do anything about it, but just try to help out best I can," added Crystal.
And, you can help people like the Cavadas family, when KGET teams with the food bank for our annual food drive.
"We need a lot of help. We have a lot of hungry people out there, but people can just bring one can, two cans, it doesn't matter," said Delouth. "We're happy, anything to fill our bins."
The Holiday Food Drive drive takes place Wednesday, November 14th from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. outside our studios at 22nd and M Streets.
Organizers are looking for non-perishable and healthy items.
Also, for every dollar donated, the food bank can buy nine pounds of food.