VISTA— Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath joins volunteers from Unite Here Local 30 and Carlsbad Councilmember Cori Schumacher to host a drive-thru food distribution for hospitality workers at the North County Food Bank. Hotel workers in the cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, and Vista are some of the most severely impacted as a result of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In San Diego County, employment in the hospitality industry plummeted by about 50% in the one month between March and April as travel for work and leisure fell significantly in the wake of the pandemic. This means many of the staff from North County hotels and resorts have found themselves in need of other ways to support their families.
“I’m volunteering today to help provide some much-needed assistance to hospitality workers and spotlight the efforts happening in my district. As I’m sure you can imagine with three out of four direct hotel employees laid off or furloughed, putting food on the table and ensuring no child goes hungry is a top priority,” said Assemblymember Boerner Horvath. “I am so thankful for the regional leadership of the San Diego Food Bank and their focus on food insecurity during these challenging times.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 7.7M hospitality and leisure jobs were lost in April and with 70% of direct hotel employees laid off or furloughed, hotel workers are losing more than $2.4B in earnings each week. Unite Here Local 30 has noticed the human impacts of these numbers amongst the workers they represent.
"As the hotel workers union for San Diego County, the shock this pandemic has brought to the hospitality industry in North County is being felt acutely within the ranks of our membership,” said Rick Bates, Research Analyst for Unite Here Local 30. “More than a thousand of our members live and work in the North County cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Oceanside, and Vista, and are finding themselves without consistent work in the local hotel industry for the first time. 98% of our members throughout the county have been laid off or furloughed since the impacts really began to reach the industry back in March. Events like today’s drive-thru distribution are helping these workers to keep food on the table and bridge the gap until employers are able to bring more of them back on."
Over 200 local hospitality workers were able to attend the distribution and stock up on various non-perishables and fresh grocery items. The North County Food Bank is offering daily drive-thru food distribution services for low-income families and those economically impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Families only need to verbally self-certify income level to receive assistance, and a volunteer will place the items in the trunk of their vehicle.
Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath represents the 76th District, which encompasses Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, and Encinitas.