By CBSLA Staff

LINCOLN HEIGHTS (CBSLA) — The ongoing pandemic and loss of jobs has caused the need for food to skyrocket. Many struggling families are turning to nonprofits and food banks for help.

The Boys & Girls Club in Lincoln Heights distributes food boxes every single Thursday. While there was undoubtedly a need before the coronavirus pandemic began, the number of people lining up for assistance has grown exponentially during this time, organizers said.

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“I have three kids,” said Lucile Aguayo, as she grabbed a food box for her family. “I’m trying to to provide as much as I can for them. I’m working, but it’s not easy because they’re at home, doing online school. So, they’re eating more…it’s hard for me to provide groceries for them because I have to pay the bills.”

The food boxes usually consist of meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, and more. They come from two regional food bank distribution centers.

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“It’s so expensive to keep going out and buying groceries,” Aguayo said. “I’m running out of money.”

According to the food bank, Aguayo is not alone. They say distribution has increased by 125% compared to before the pandemic.

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While the Boys & Girls Club distribution begins at 4 p.m., organizers said that people will begin lining up hours before just to make sure they get what they need — and the organization said it plans to continue helping as long as there is food to be given.