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‘Cars just keep coming’: El Paso food pantry seeks more volunteers as demand surges

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- An El Paso food pantry is reporting a massive surge in demand since coronavirus cases began to spike in El Paso. The Kelly Center for Hunger Relief is voicing new concerns about their ability to keep up.

"We have cars nonstop and then we need to tell the cars to just come back tomorrow because they just keep coming," said Treisy Skidmore, volunteer coordinator for the Kelly Center for Hunger Relief.

Skidmore says the demand for food at the center has doubled during El Paso's recent surge of COVID-19 cases.

"If you don't believe it, you can drive around here and you will see the line of cars," she said.

Skidmore says the center provides food to 700-800 people each day. Now, the center is asking the community for help.

"There's not enough volunteers," Skidmore said. "I would say that people are probably scared. For whatever reason it is they are not coming and volunteering as often as they were. We rely on volunteers heavily, so it's very hard. We can only do so much with five people."

Skidmore says safety is a top priority and believes the risk of exposure is low.

"You won't be in contact with the people," she said. "Volunteers' tasks include you splitting the food and (putting it) in the clients' cars, trunk."

Skidmore hopes volunteers recognize their work has a big impact.

"I think that volunteering will not only help those that we serve, but it can greatly impact the volunteers themselves and it can help them do something for the community," she said.

Skidmore says individuals who are interested in volunteering can just show up at the center at 915 N Florence Street. There are no pre-requisites for volunteering. Individuals can also call 915-261-7499.

News / Video

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.

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