Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula donated $50,000 from his campaign account Thursday to help families during the COVID-19 crisis.
The Fresno Democrat challenged others — including elected officials — to follow his example by giving to groups that provide food, shelter, and other essential services. Arambula additionally suggested that people volunteer to help the elderly and disabled.
“I believe in times like these, we have a moral responsibility to help people and families who are struggling to feed their loved ones or provide basic needs because this pandemic has drastically altered their lives,” said Arambula, who represents the 31st District. “The organizations I’m supporting have stepped up their efforts to make sure no one is left behind.”
Arambula reminded residents to stay at home and practice good hygiene and social distancing to contain the coronavirus.
“We must be vigilant and considerate of one another,” Arambula said. “We are in this together and must depend on each other. We will get through this — together.”
The nine groups receiving assistance from Arambula’s campaign funds are:
- Central California Food Bank, $10,000, for food distribution efforts;
- Fresno State Student Cupboard, $5,000, for student food;
- Centro La Familia, $5,000, for emergency services for families;
- Fresno City College Ram Pantry, $5,000, for student food;
- Reedley College Student Pantry, $5,000, for student food;
- United Way Fresno and Madera Counties, $5,000, for its coronavirus relief fund;
- Poverello House, $5,000, to support meals and shelter efforts;
- Bitwise Industries through Neighborhood Thrift Stores, $5,000, for a food pantry and delivery efforts;
- The First Congregational Church of Fresno (“The Big Red Church”), $5,000, for its food pantry.
Natalie Caples, chief operations officer for the Central California Food Bank, said the organization provides food to more than 70,000 households each month and has “seen a nearly 50 percent increase at all distributions during this time.”
Said Caples: “Thank you for sticking by our side during the biggest crisis we have dealt with in our history as a food bank.”
Fresno State President Joseph Castro said he was “extremely grateful for this generous act of kindness,” and that he hopes it will inspire other elected officials to support the university’s students in uncertain times.