More Bay Area Families Are Struggling To Get Enough Food
Peter Jon Shuler/KQED
New federal figures showing increasing numbers of children going hungry is resonating with local charities. The USDA Wednesday released data showing 50 million Americans struggling to get enough to eat. More than 1 out of 5 are kids.
Kathy Jackson is CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. She’s seen the number of people in need of food increase nearly 50 percent since the recession began.
“At some point we start to wonder actually if the recession ever ended, because we’ve seen the numbers go up so much,” she says. “But there remains an enormous need for supplemental food in our local community.”
Second Harvest estimates 1 in 4 families locally are struggling with hunger. Jackson says the Food Bank serves about a quarter of a million people every month. But she says there’s still a gap. Her organization is currently only able to reach about 1 in 10 of those in need.
Jackson hopes Second Harvest's new state-of-the-art distribution center unveiled Wednesday in San Jose will help serve the growing number of families struggling to put food on the table. She says the facility doubles Second Harvest’s cold storage capacity for fresh produce, and makes the food bank more efficient in getting food out into the community.