SAN JOSE (KPIX)- Thousands of families have lost their jobs due to the statewide shelter in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. Hotel and restaurant workers have been hit the hardest. Now, some of those folks, and others, are finally getting some help.
“As you can see, there’s cars lined up since 7 a.m. this morning for an 11 a.m. distribution,” explains CEO and Founder Ewell Sterner. “Hunger at Home partners with about eight executive chefs, hospitality executives from throughout our normal (operation). Our normal operation is that we work with Levi, Fairmount, Marriot and hotels and stadiums.”
When the hotel and restaurant world collapsed, they were left holding millions of pounds of food. Hunger at Home collected that food and is making it available to the workers, and anyone else who lost their jobs.
Families are hurting and grateful at the same time as they wait in line. Mr. Vargas lost his job at the San Jose Marriott. He will wait four hours for his food.
Emily Terrones still has her job but, everyone else in her family is out of work and she’s not sure how much longer her job will last.
“Day to day, we’re wondering when we’re going to go back to work, if we’re ever going to go back to work?,” says Terrones. “You know, are the techies going to stay home and work from home? That, kinda puts us out of (work), cause you know, we’re there to feed them.”
Executive chefs, hotel general managers and union presidents are all volunteering in the kitchen. The pace is intense.
Chef Masumi Kodama is a pastry chef instructor at Diablo Valley College.
“It’s like combat cooking that I’m not used to,” she said.
“We are trying to produce as much food as possible in the shortest amount of time,” Chef Paul Bernhardt.
Outside, the line of folks needing the food still grows, wrapping around the block.