Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all the blessings we have. But for a large and ever-growing number of poor throughout Northern and Southern California, there is far less to be thankful for; particularly this holiday season.
In Northern California, food banks have been experiencing great shortages in monetary and food donations. Second Harvest Food Bank, for example, which serves about 248,000 people a month in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, said it fell short of 3,500 turkeys and that the SF-Marin Food Bank was short 10,000 lbs of food, according to public radio station KQED.
In Southern California, over a half-million people receive food assistance in San Diego County alone, with thousands lining up weekly for canned goods, dairy products and fresh produce at food bank distribution sites, notes KPBS.
“I didn’t go hungry as a child because of the food stamp program being available when my dad would get laid off from his construction job,” said Jennifer Tracy, executive director of the San Diego Hunger Coalition, notes KPBS.
The outrageous cost of living in Northern California has also been squeezing food budgets for the poor. Hunger among children, in particular, continues to rise. Even just one dollar in donations can reportedly help to provide two meals a day, and many food banks request protein items if donations are being made.
The majority of those food donations–over half of them–are raised during the holiday season, which makes Thanksgiving an opportune time for giving. KQED provides a list of food banks in Northern California that are accepting donations here.
Feeding America also provides a search for local food banks throughout California where individuals can drop off and donate goods. Find a local center here.