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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Food Bank said hundreds of volunteers have called out of their shifts due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Food Bank has announced it will continue its food distribution services and expects the need for food to rise as more workers are told to stay home and more schools close.

“The school districts are now starting to close down for at least some period of time, so now kids who are getting fed during the week who receive meals from that free reduced lunch program, they’re not going to be receiving those meals,” said James Floros, president of the San Diego Food Bank.

Floros said calls to the Food Bank have gone up dramatically.

“Obviously with COVID-19 going on we know that our distribution lines are going to get longer,” Floros said. “We’re going to need more food to distribute out to those in need in our community, and one of the key ways we get the food out in the community is our volunteer base.”

The Food Bank is calling on people to volunteer so it can continue its normal operations and meet the rising demand. They have placed hand washing stations, gloves and hand sanitizer around the warehouse for volunteers to use.

“I think it’s very important,” said frequent volunteer Mike Laman. “We’re all in the same boat on this. We just gotta get through it, stay together, help each other out and we’ll get it. This too shall pass.”

First-time volunteers can register online here.