Contra Costa and Solano food bank sees monthly increase of 100,000 people a month needing food

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) — Veterans Day has proven to be a popular day to donate to the food bank at Contra Costa and Solano in Concord. Gail Strohl came with her two sons.

“Inflation is very high, the cost of food is very high. There are a lot of families in need right now. So we’re really trying to do what we can to help other families,” Strohl says. .

Across the Bay Area, families and communities continue to struggle with food insecurity. Individual donations are crucial since they represent approximately 70% of the donations received by the food bank. And this year, the need is even greater.

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“It really is the perfect storm. Donations are decreasing, while needs are increasing. Many of our most popular programs are seeing more than a 50% increase in need. So every donation really matters,” says Krystine Dinh, the director. communications at the food bank.

Dinh says they serve 275,000 people each month, an increase of 100,000 people per month since last year. She says that includes a 50% increase in the elderly and 25% in children who need food.

“What continues to shock me is that 25%, or a quarter of the people we serve, are children. And that, to me, is unacceptable,” Dinh says.

Part of the growing need is due to families battling the pandemic. This was followed by rising costs due to inflation.

Dinh says there has been a 30% increase in the cost of food. Turkeys alone were up 40% – a popular item during the holiday season, which is the busiest time of year for the food bank.

“It’s amazing to think that in the United States there are people who need it so badly. But we have to donate and help,” says Walnut Creek resident Gail Frick Barmby, who also came to drop off. donations.

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And the donations don’t have to be big. Just one dollar can feed families in need.

“Because we work with local retailers and grocery stores, we have the buying power to get certain foods at a discount, so no food (is) wasted. So every dollar provides at least two meals for members of the community,” says Dinh.

To help donate, go here.

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