For those that wanted to help others in need during the pandemic, a special event kicked off Tuesday morning at Pechanga Arena San Diego, News 8 reported.
News 8 and Kyle Kraska hosted a “Celebration of Heroes” drive to collect food and blood donations – two critical community needs that have been drastically impacted by COVID-19.
“The response was really good in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Karen Powell of the San Diego chapter of the American Red Cross to News 8. “Everybody came out of the woodwork to support the cause, and now we’re starting to see that participation drop off a little bit.”
For 12 hours on Tuesday, San Diegans dropped off non-perishable food donations at the Pechanga Arena parking lot. Drivers didn’t have to leave their cars to donate as volunteers collected the items.
“This is our 10th ‘Celebration of Heroes’ blood drive,” said Kraska. “And each and every time we’ve asked the community to come out and respond they have.”
The Red Cross said around 200 blood drives have been canceled so far during this pandemic.
Meanwhile, the number of food-insecure people in San Diego has doubled.
“We went from feeding 350,000 people a month to nearly 600,000 people [a month],” said James Floros, CEO of the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank to News 8.
Floros said the food bank typically purchases about $1 million worth of food a year. However, in the first eight weeks of the pandemic, he said it purchased $3 million.
“Every little bit helps. Everyone can make a difference,” he said.
In total, the drive collected 141 units of blood for patients in need and 6000 pounds of food for San Diego families
Although Tuesday’s blood drive reached its capacity, you can always schedule a donation online.