SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Feeding San Diego hosted a food drive Monday to help ease the burden that many hospitality industry workers are facing due to the pandemic.
"Me and my two sons have been out of work since last March," says hospitality worker Leslie Martens.
Martens says it's been tough for her family to live off of unemployment.
"Hoping that we can still try to pay rent somehow," she added.
Martens says she worked at the San Diego Convention Center, but COVID-19 forced all events to cancel.
"First they said two weeks, then they said maybe two months, and then I thought, well maybe by summer," Martens said. "Now I don't even know."
Martens was one of 1,100 families who lined up at Pechanga Arena for the Feeding San Diego food drive on Friday. The need for food has surged, driving the much-needed response for the organization since last year.
"We have over 125 events a year and 700,000 people, but this year with the pandemic, no events," says Penchanga General Manager Ernie Hahn. "So it's important for us to use this facility for the community."
Feeding San Diego says registration for the food boxes filled up in less than two days. With the hospitality industry being hit so hard, the organization will be hosting at least two more drives for workers this month.
"The need is getting greater," says Feeding San Diego CEO Dan Shea. "Even when the pandemic is over, the economy is not going to recover as quickly as we would like it to. This is going to go on for some time; nobody knows how long."
Feeding San Diego says if you are in need, you can sign up online for a food box.