Hunger Grows in Bay Area

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 01: Shelves of canned foods sit partially empty at the SF-Marin Food Bank on May 1, 2014 in San Francisco, California.  (Justin Sullivan via Getty Images)

The Bay Area saw some of the biggest increases in people signing up for food stamps during the pandemic. Home to the highest income inequality in California, the Bay Area’s hunger problem has been an issue of growing concern since well before COVID-19. The Biden administration announced Monday that it will approve the largest permanent increase in food assistance in the history of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Yet the Bay Area’s cost of living may mean that increase is only a drop in the bucket. We talk with researchers and advocates about the unique landscape of food insecurity in the Bay Area and how they’re addressing the problem.


May Wang, professor, Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health

Tracey Patterson, vice president, Social Safety Net, Code for America

Tracy Weatherby, vice president, Strategy and Advocacy, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley