CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coastal Bend Food bank is facing a shortage of workers, and looking to fill up those positions immediately, but are struggling to do so.
The group lost some during the COVID-19 pandemic, and they recently lost five, but aren’t sure why. Executive director Bea Hanson said she thinks federal pandemic-related financial benefits, and tax returns, could be why the organization is having difficulty filling those positions.
Those positions include: CDL Class A driver, custodian, product-recovery inspector, receiver, and warehouse clerk.
Some workers, such as manager Al Moreno Jr., are now having to double up on positions, but he said he's willing to lend a hand so that his coworkers aren't overburdened.
“The things that I’m doing right now is nothing new to me," he said. "I’ve done it before, so it’s just that I know it needs to get done, and it makes it better for everybody else that everybody else is not doing too much more than they can handle.”
He said he usually handles the paperwork for the amount of food the food bank receives in the trucks, but now, he also is having to do jobs on the floor -- jobs he's learned during his nine years at the food bank.
“It kind of puts a strain on myself stress-wise, but in the end, I just know that it has to be done," he said. "And it kind of makes the day go by faster, but we do need the help.”
Rhonda Sanchez, a warehouse clerk, said she was a warehouse lead, but is now a warehouse clerk because they’ve had to double up on jobs. The double duty is stressful for her because the food bank isn't the only place she works.
“With everything going on, a lot more people need more food, so we have a lot coming in," she said. "Sometimes, we have seven trucks a day coming, so we have to unload it and put it up. So it’s a lot.”
Hanson said it has had help from the National Guard since the pandemic started, but now has fewer volunteers because of the need for social distancing. She said unloading trucks and doing inventory are especially difficult without the help.
“It really puts a lot of strain on the operations of the food bank because the demand is up," she said. "We’re having to meet that demand, and we’re having to do it with less people.”