LAS VEGAS (KRON) — The pandemic has led the San Francisco Marin Food Bank to serve more people than it ever has before.
The need is great, and so is the effort to get the food to the people depending on it.
Working in smaller groups with more shifts to allow for physical distancing, volunteers at the San Francisco Marin Food Bank warehouse in the city hit the ground running on a daily basis.
“If we’re not doing it, who else is going to?” said Rebecca Cowlin, volunteer.
Prior to the public health emergency, the food bank relied on 1,200 volunteers a week to pack up and distribute meals and groceries. That number has since more than doubled to 2,500 volunteers each week.
“I done been homeless, so I understand the struggle a lot. I can correlate with it,” said volunteer Dexter Culclager.
The food bank is currently serving more than 55,000 households a week which is up from 30,000 households prior to the pandemic.
“And, what we’re learning right now is so many that we’re serving have never needed food assistance before,” said Katy McKnight, food bank spokesperson.
McKnight says the current demand for food exceeds the extreme need seen during the economic downturn in 2008.
“In October, we had our highest amount of poundage the food bank has ever distributed, and we distributed 7.8 million pounds of food in October alone,” added McKnight.
Over Thanksgiving, McKnight says the food bank handed out more than 1.4 million meals, eclipsing last year’s mark of 880,000 holiday meals.
“Especially when you can’t afford the funds to be able to get certain necessities for your family and your kids, this helps a lot,” added Culclager.
And, the food bank is prepared to continue serving the community at these historic levels as long as there is a need.