This article was written by BenitoLink intern Alexis Castro Juarez
The Community Food Bank of San Benito hosted an event called “Spooning the Lawn” on Sept. 14 to bring awareness to hunger in the community.
Food Bank CEO Sarah Nordwick said each spoon that was installed in the Veterans Memorial Building lawn represents 10 people in the county who are struggling with hunger.
“Our goal is putting 2,000 spoons in the lawn,” Sarah said as event staff unpacked the spoons from boxes.
She said those spoons represent the 23,000 visits the food bank receives each month.
Nordwick said that there has been an increase of 7,000 more individuals visiting the food bank, which is more than 100 people per day compared to the middle of the COVID pandemic.
While BenitoLink was at the event, which was scheduled to last about an hour, there were over 15 people participating; most were placing the spoons into the lawn.
Nordwick said the food bank aims to hold the event every September as part of Hunger Action Month.
Hollister City Councilmember Rick Perez was interacting with and helping out participants.
“The significance of this event is that it gives you a visual of how many people are hungry, what the need is in our community, and how important it is,” Perez told BenitoLink.
He added there is a lot of money coming into the Central Coast for the homeless and that he intends to help find solutions.
“With all this money available, what are we doing with it? Do we have a plan?” Perez asked. “What good is it having the money, but not having a plan? I’m not saying we don’t have the money, but I just don’t know yet. I’d like to find out. Homeless people in the community are still our community and we’re here to help.”
Perez said there are Hollister residents who care, feed and volunteer to help those in need.
He added that the city does support Spooning the Lawn and said he is sure that if more support is needed the council would listen.
The BenitoLink Internship Program is a paid, skill-building program that prepares local youth for a professional career. This program is supported by Monterey Peninsula Foundation AT&T Golf Tour, United Way, Taylor Farms and the Emma Bowen Foundation.