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San Francisco Food Bank Responds to Increased Need during Recession

June 1, 2009
Attention: This press release was published in June 2009.
Our program is growing and our numbers are updated often.
For current facts and figures, see our Media Kit.
Outreach campaign and increased food distribution to target those recently impacted 
San Francisco, CA (June 1, 2009) – Starting today, the San Francisco Food Bank is launching a television, radio, newspaper and outdoor outreach campaign. The campaign is designed to reach San Franciscans who are facing hunger for the first time to let them know where to get help. 
“As the recession deepens, we’re seeing more and more people who have never needed help before and don’t know where to turn. These folks are wholly unaccustomed to using human services and feel reluctant to ask for assistance of any kind,” says Food Bank Executive Director Paul Ash. “Through this campaign, we hope to lessen the social stigma and other barriers that are keeping people from getting the help they need.” 
With the assistance of the San Francisco Interfaith Council, the Food Bank will open four new weekly farmers’ market-style distributions along major transit lines to help those struggling in the down economy. The county’s unemployment rate has nearly doubled since this time last year. 
With a nearly 20 percent increase in requests for food compared to this time last year, the Food Bank is sending more food than ever to its existing 192 pantries to meet the increased demand. 27 additional tractor trailer loads of fresh produce (more than 20,000 pounds each week) will be distributed above the Food Bank’s original plan of 327,000 pounds per week. 
The Food Bank encourages people to call 2-1-1 operators, supported by the United Way, who can direct callers to food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more. 
Creative work for the campaign was donated by Engine Company 1.

About the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks (updated July 18, 2012)

Hunger is a serious problem in our community, with one in five children and adults at risk of hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Every day, the Food Bank sources, collects, sorts, inspects and repackages thousands of pounds of food, then distributes it to soup kitchens, neighborhood pantries, school programs and seniors in need.
The Food Bank serves more than 225,000 people each year throughout San Francisco and Marin counties, and will distribute more than 45 million pounds of food to the community this year alone – enough for at least 100,000 meals every day. More than half of what is distributed is fresh fruits and vegetables. For more information, visit

About the San Francisco Interfaith Council 

Since its incorporation in 1991, the Interfaith Council has worked to fulfill its mission of bringing people of different faith traditions together to build understanding, celebrate diversity and coordinate services to the citizens of San Francisco.