Bay Area Food Bank Struggles With Drop In Donations

CONCORD (KCBS) – September is proving to be an especially rough month for Bay Area food banks, reporting a sizable slowdown in contributions. Not surprisingly, keeping up with demand is proving to be difficult for these types of institutions.

For instance, two years ago, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano served 98,000 people per month. Now, it’s serving 132,000 people monthly.

“They need help,” summed up executive director Larry Sly. “Sometimes we don’t have enough help to give them because we’re at a low point in the food that’s available to us.”

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Quite simply, donating food isn’t on everyone’s radar this time of year.

“The holiday food drives have been gone for a long time, letter carriers’ food drive is gone, the donations have fallen off because of the summer,” said Sly. “Somehow people don’t think folks are hungry in August and September.”

“Fresh produce is a big supply that’s available to us, which helps us keep a constant supply going. But the shelf-stable stuff, canned goods and things like that, we need people to do food drives,” Sly made a passionate plea. “We need people to do collections in their businesses, in their churches, anywhere that they can to gather food together to help their neighbors in need.”

Cash donations are always welcome, and can go a long way, too. According to Sly, thanks to good working relationships with a number of food suppliers and grocery chains, a $50 donation allows the food bank to buy $150-worth of food.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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