By: Jesse Canales, Spectrum News 13

The majority of people who attend the Christ the King Epicospal Church food pantry came from Latin American countries to seek asylum in America. One of those attendees was Wendy Lizeth Orellana, 26.

Last December, Orellana made the journey from Honduras to the U.S. with her daughter, 3, in a caravan. She said she did it to make a better life for her daughter and escape the dangers of her homeland.

“My mother died. It was a devastating loss from which I said ‘I won’t be able to recover from.’ It was nothing but sadness that I don’t want to remember,” she said.

Orellana first arrived in San Diego, where she stayed in a sanctuary church until her friend in Orlando flew her to Central Florida. She said, since her arrival, the church has helped put food on her table and helped her work to receive her asylum permit.

“They’ve blessed me with their help and I thank God for all the church staff and members.”

In the food pantry’s 7-year history, church members said they have seen many families with stories just like Orellana’s. When it first started, only a dozen people attended it. After Hurricane Maria and with the instability in many Latin American Countries including Venezuela, that number is up to 160 families.

“There’s a sadness to see so many people in need, but I am happy we can help them have something on their plate,” Carmen Rivera a member of the church said.

While Orellana waits for the courts to decide on her asylum status, she said she feels she is in the right place and happy for the help she gets. “If God brought me here, he knows why and for what purpose.”

Christ the King Episcopal Church holds its food pantry every second Saturday of each month. There are three ways you can help those in need. You can donate money, donate an item of food for 150 families or volunteer.