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By Gayle Keck
San Francisco Food Bank

In San Francisco, they’re all around you. 150,000 San Franciscans face the risk of hunger every day – that’s 1 in every 5 adults and 1 in every 4 children. Yes, a shocking 25% of the city’s children don’t have enough food to learn and grow properly.

Who are the hungry people?

They are parents, like Janie, giving up their own food so their children can eat. Here’s Janie’s story, in her own words:

I’ve been working since I was 12 – started out with a paper route, and I did a youth program and then I worked in delis and restaurants, but then I got injured. Now I’m disabled. People don’t come onto this earth thinking they’re going to be poor.

I have a son, a sophomore in high school. This is a growing kid who’s constantly eating, wants something to eat all the time. And, sad to say, a lot of times it’s like, “Mom, there’s nothing to eat.” And that’s the worst thing. When your child is hungry and he can’t just go into the refrigerator or cabinet and get something to eat when he wants it. And a lot of times, I eat less and sometimes don’t even eat, just so he can have something. Even if he gets lunch at school he comes home and he is just hungry.

Who are the hungry people?

• 40% of the households the San Francisco Food Bank serves have at least one working adult.

• 84% of San Francisco Food Bank client families with children had at least one person who lost their job, received a pay cut or had work hours cut back in 2009.

• The number of San Franciscans on food stamps has grown by some 52 percent since 2008 – but still, only 39.5 percent of those who are eligible participate in the food stamp program.

• 24,000 households in San Francisco count on the food bank for groceries to feed their families.

What can you do to help?

• Leave a comment below, and Tyson will add 100 pounds of chicken to a truck headed for the San Francisco Food Bank – up to 30,000 pounds. Protein is the most-needed item for food bank clients – and the most difficult to obtain. (we promise we will not use your email address for marketing purposes)

• Make a donation. For every $1 donated, the food bank can distribute $6 worth of food.

• Volunteer. Help sort, re-pack and clean food that’s headed to the 200+ grocery pantries in San Francisco and Marin County.
• Look around you and remember: In a city overflowing with good food, every 5th person is hungry.