Supply Chain Issues Strain San Francisco-Marin Food Bank Resources
Rising food and transportation costs stretch capacity to fulfill food assistance need during the holidays and beyond
SAN FRANCISCO (November 16, 2021) Supply chain challenges pose a significant obstacle in providing for the high rate of food insecurity in San Francisco and Marin this holiday season and into the foreseeable future. Higher transportation costs, food prices, food scarcity, and labor shortages compound the Food Bank’s ability to fulfill the persistent need for food assistance generated from the pandemic. The overall impact results in higher Food Bank costs to fulfill the current need for food assistance in San Francisco and Marin.
Although the Food Bank has succeeded in securing food in the coming holiday months, the rising costs and food scarcity have stretched its resources. From the first quarter of 2021, eggs prices increased 65%, the cost of produce per pound is about 16% higher, and the price of chicken has doubled. “This year, many of us will celebrate the holiday and enjoy a special meal with our families and friends. We must ensure that all our neighbors can do the same,” said Barbara Abbott, Vice President of Supply Chain for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “We have worked hard to overcome the barriers caused by the supply chain to meet the increased need for food assistance since the pandemic, but it puts tremendous strain on our financial resources, and our volunteer capacity is over-extended.”
Despite the waning pandemic health impacts in San Francisco and Marin, its economic implications still abound, exemplifying that there’s no vaccine for hunger. The number of neighbors needing food assistance is still high. Every week, the Food Bank distributes one million meals to over 50,000 households (184,000 people). In comparison, before the pandemic, the Food Bank served 32,000 households/week.
The heightened need shows no sign of lowering in the foreseeable future–a recent survey of over 7,000 of the Food Bank’s participants showed that 81% had yet to recover. 61% of respondents replied that a household member had lost their job or is earning less money. The same survey showed that as many as 50% did not seek food assistance before the pandemic.
The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is sending out a call for monetary donations and volunteers to help provide food this holiday season and into 2022. To donate, visit: https://www.sfmfoodbank.org/, to volunteer, please visit: https://www.sfmfoodbank.org/volunteer/.
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 address hunger head-on – from our pantry network and home-delivered groceries to CalFresh enrollment. Every week, over 50,000 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