Hunger Report Shows Pandemic Related Food Insecurity Persists Despite Bay Area COVID-19 Recovery
SAN FRANCISCO (September 17, 2021) – Today, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank released its Hunger Report that included a survey of more than 7,000 Food Bank participants. The survey reveals that 81% of respondents have yet to recover from the pandemic’s economic impact. Many respondents reported they lost work or had reduced income due to the pandemic. 61% of respondents replied that a household member has lost their job or is earning less money. Nearly 50% did not receive food from a pantry before the pandemic.
While the pandemic shone a light on food insecurity and the inequities that underpin it, these are not new issues. Even before COVID-19 drove record unemployment, 1 in 5 San Francisco and Marin neighbors was at risk of hunger. The past year’s events were simply a catalyst that forced thousands more to turn to Food Banks and other forms of support for the first time. As entire industries eroded, the Food Bank saw nearly twice as many families turn to them for food, many for the first time.
“We’re heartened that we’re able to ramp up operations to fulfill the increase in the need for food. Yet, providing a bag of groceries will not solve the continued inequities of food insecurity in San Francisco and Marin,” said Tanis Crosby, Executive Director, San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. We all need to push for policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels to address the root causes of hunger that predate COVID-19 and that were brought to light by the pandemic.”
The Food Bank continues to evolve operations to serve the community most effectively. Every week, over 50,000 households are served (before the pandemic, the Food Bank served 32,000 households per week), more than 8,000 of those received home-delivered groceries.
September is Hunger Action Month, a nationwide initiative to raise awareness of community hunger and an ideal time to help. Visit www.sfmfoodbank.org for how to volunteer, donate, or advocate.
ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO-MARIN FOOD BANK
San Francisco-Marin Food Bank’s mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. Before the pandemic, one in five neighbors was at risk of hunger. We envision a community where everyone can obtain enough nutritious food in a dignified manner to support the health and well-being of themselves and their families. We address hunger head-on – from our pantry network and home-delivered groceries to our nutrition-education classes and CalFresh enrollment, and we work in many ways to nourish and serve neighbors in need. Every week, 55,000 households count on us for food assistance. Nearly 60 percent of what we distribute is fresh fruits and vegetables. Learn more at www.sfmfoodbank.org