Those attending the Kern County Fair Wednesday will have a chance to have some fun while helping out those in need.
The fair is partnering with the Community Action Partnership in their Feed the Need food drive, where a simple food donation can get you admission to the fair.
On Wednesday, a donation of three canned food items is good for admission to the Kern County Fair.
It’s an event both organizers with the Kern County Fair and the Community Action Partnership will being some much needed donations before the holiday rush.
And with a sluggish economy, officials say the help is badly needed.
On Tuesday, food bank volunteers were sorting through their latest food donations.
Items like loaves of bread are being stretched in order to feed a lot of hungry people.
"It's slow. Every now and then, especially on the bread, we don't get a whole lot of bread lately so it's been kind of hard,” said Linda Delouth who volunteers at the food bank.
Delouth knows exactly how bad the hunger problem has become.
She used to be a food bank client herself, but now donates her time organizing donations.
And she sees the faces of the people who now need help.
"I've came to the food bank when they had it here and I've been in that long line and I've said it's going to take forever. Then you think, there's a lot more people like me out there and we don't have it,” Delouth said.
According to food bank officials, there are about 10,000 families a month who need help with food in Kern County, a number that’s jumped considerably this year mostly due to unemployment and the economy.
"We're seeing a lot more people utilize our services that have never utilized it before. People who have jobs and advanced degrees, people who took a pay cut because that's the situation we're in,” said Ian Anderson with the Community Action Partnership.
At the same time, donations and funding have declined.
"Our shelves are a little bit depleted, a little low. We haven't received some federal funding we've expected,” Anderson said.
Food bank officials are hoping Wednesday’s food drive will help stock their shelves until the holidays when donations typically rise.
But until then, volunteers say every donation matters, no matter how small.
"You can bring a loaf of bread, we'll be happy. People will take anything right now. And the more food you get, the more you help. There are a lot of kids out there that need help. I've seen them going to school hungry and I rather see a kid eat,” Delouth said.
The three can admission into the fair starts at 3 p.m. and the food drive runs until 9 p.m.