ORANGE COVE, CALIF. — At least 6,000 people lined up this weekend when local businesses and a church gave food to residents who lost jobs after freezing temperatures earlier this month destroyed an estimated $1 billion in California produce.
The event Saturday, organized by Fresno's Cornerstone Church, Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino and other businesses, sent more than 200 tons of food home with local families.
Each box contained a 5-pound bag of potatoes, a case of fruit juice, frozen vegetables, chicken, bread, beans, rice and milk.
"We don't want it to be viewed as a handout," said Jim Franklin, senior pastor at Cornerstone Church.
"They feed us during the year. Now that they have hit hard times, we want to feed them."
Orange Cove, a Central Valley town of about 10,000 near Fresno, was particularly hard-hit by more than a week of freezing temperatures beginning Jan. 12.