Rural Food Banks Have Never Been More Important

COVID Has Created Thousands of New Clients for California’s Smallest Food Banks—And New Challenges That May Outlast the Pandemic

Before COVID-19, our little food bank here in Kings County served 1,000 families, on average, a month. But in the pandemic, we are now working to feed more than five times that number, providing food for an estimated 5,000 families in our part of the San Joaquin Valley.

Rural food banks, like the one I work at, have an outsized importance, because there are fewer food options in smaller places. And while we are far from big cities like Los Angeles, where I lived until moving up here 12 years ago, …