Idled farm workers are searching for food in the nation's most prolific agricultural region, where a double blow of drought and a court-ordered cutback of water supplies has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
This bedraggled town is struggling with an unemployment rate that city officials say is 40% and rising. This month, 600 farm families depleted the cupboards of the local food bank, which turned away families, more than 100 of them, for the first time.
"We're supposed to supply the world," said Mendota Mayor Robert Silva, "and people are starving."
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