SF Chronicle: Federal Funding Cuts Hurt Food Bank
October 9, 2012
The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that for the second year in row, the Food Bank has been denied funding from the national Emergency Food and Shelter Program, resulting in a loss of $161,000 — enough for 483,000 meals.
The article quoted Paul Ash, Executive Director of the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks saying, "This one just has me scratching my head. There is still such a huge need for food here. It doesn't make any sense."
The article went on to describe the need for Food Bank services and the impact the cuts will have:
"At the Lutheran Social Services Pantry in the Mission, for instance, the number of people coming each week for free groceries has almost doubled to 300 over the past two years. It may well need more food in the coming year, which could become problematic if its main supplier — the food bank — has to trim distributions, said pantry coordinator Tina Gonzales.
'The need is there, and it keeps growing,' Gonzales said. 'If we weren't able to give out our food, there are people who would not be eating that day.'
The food bank is the main source of food to local soup kitchens and pantries for low-income people, distributing 45 million pounds of food annually to 450 providers. About 5 million pounds goes to Marin County, and the rest is used in San Francisco.
Ash said his food bank's annual food purchasing budget totals $3.8 million, and the $161,000 withheld by FEMA would have been used for buying fresh produce."
Here at the Food Bank, we’re committed to doing everything we can to meet the growing need in our community. But with federal funding cuts like this, we need your support more than ever.