Within an hour, the boxes are all gone."It shows there's hunger in Mendota, and people will take anything," said Mayor Robert Silva, who manages the grocery store. Some other grocery stores are doing likewise.
The economic downturn, state-enforced water rationing, poor rains, and unemployment have all come to a head here. Now, hunger is sweeping through the community. Town officials are bracing for longer lines at food distribution centers, starting next month, when Mendota's single largest employer, the 42-year-old Spreckles Sugar Company, is set to shut its door.