LA Food Banks Gather Long Lines Ahead Of Thanksgiving

Kat Schuster
·3 min read

LOS ANGELES, CA — Angelenos had formed a long line outside of a food bank at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles Saturday morning, footage from CNN revealed. Volunteers expected around 1,000 people to line up today, CNN reported.

The long snaking lines at food banks around the state point to a bleak economic downturn resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

SEE MORE FROM CNN: Long lines form outside of food banks ahead of the holidays

The First Unitarian Church did not immediately respond to Patch for comment.

Food banks in the state have drawn larger numbers this year as the unemployment rate in California was 9.3 percent in October, according to the state's Employment Development Department.

This was the first time the state's bleak unemployment rate dipped below 10 percent since the pandemic began weakening the economy in March.

Those who work in California's hospitality and restaurant industry could face additional roadblocks to making ends-meet beginning this weekend as the Golden State's month-long curfew goes into effect Saturday evening.

Many restaurant workers could have their hours cut since the mandate will require nonessential businesses to close their doors by 10 p.m.

See a list of food banks open across the Golden State here.

California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su issued a joint statement with Acting Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development Chris Dombrowski on the COVID-19's impact on the state's economy.

“...with the rise in COVID-19 cases, we are reminded how our economy is tied to the ongoing public health crisis," Su said in the statement. "With the state under a limited stay-at-home order and as we approach the holiday season, how we choose to navigate public and workplace interactions will have a direct impact on our loved ones, our friends, our communities, and our economy."

Hundreds of thousands who depend on the state's unemployment support may soon run out of benefits. The California Policy Lab estimates that 750,000 Californians will stop receiving unemployment checks at the end of December.

Pandemic Unemployment Insurance is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, with the last full week of benefits ending on Dec. 26, unless the state Legislature passes an extension for emergency programs past Christmas.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week that 94 percent of residents in the state would shift back under the state's toughest COVID-19 restrictions as cases doubled over a 10-day period.

A staggering 40 counties moved back on the state's COVID-19 risk assessing blueprint Tuesday, reversing reopening plans statewide. Forty-one counties now sit in the dreaded purple tier and are under the state's tightest restrictions.

"Every age group, every demographic, racial, ethnic, in every part of the state we are seeing case rates increase," Newsom said Monday at a news briefing. "We are seeing community spread broadly."

California reported 15,442 new cases of coronaviurs Saturday, up 1.4 percent from Friday. At least 18,643 COVID-19 deaths had been reported, with 86 added before noon on Saturday. There have been a total of 1,087,714 cases of coronavirus reported in California.

MORE CALIFORNIA COVID-19 COVERAGE FROM PATCH:


Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that in 2020, more than 54 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch social good project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how you can donate in your community or find a food pantry near you.

This article originally appeared on the Los Angeles Patch