With an increasing number of people out of work, the Galilee Center in Mecca says they’ve been helping a record number of families.
“New families that we have never seen before they are coming to get their food,” said Gloria Gomez, founder of the Galilee Center.
Gomez says every Thursday at 2 p.m. the center gives out baskets of food to families in need. This week alone, the number of families in line doubled.
“We usually give about 250-300, but now we’re up to 550...maybe 600 by next week,” she said.
The center is running low on food and supplies and is in need of donations to keep up with demand.
People can bring food or toiletry donations directly to the Galilee Center (non-perishable food items, fruit, vegetables, bread, tortillas, canned protein, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, etc.)
Or people can simply make a financial contribution online here. Gomez explained that for every dollar donated, multiple families can be helped.
The center has had to make other changes due to the coronavirus outbreak as well. They shut down the center’s on-site thrift store to prevent any spread. “We have laid off our employees who work in the thrift store. We only have left the employees who work in the shelter,” said Gomez.
They’ve also had to reduce the number of people that can sleep on-site. In their main annex, they usually have 100 beds. But now, they can only sleep 30 people, as they are now spacing beds out at least six feet apart.
Gomez says many farm workers in the east valley have lost work, as even farms are cutting back. This has led to an increase in people showing up daily.
Staff members are now checking the temperature of every person visiting the Galilee Center. If their temperature is over 100 degrees, they send the individual to the clinic.
“Regardless of who they are or where they come from we’re all in this together,” said Gomez.