SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – During the holiday season, a brighter light is put on the need for food and shelter in the Bay Area.

Paul Ash is director of the San Francisco Food Bank and said the need extends throughout the year.

“In terms of food, this is time of the year where we’re trying to do more for the families we serve. We’re trying to do that little extra that makes it feel like a special holiday,” said Ash. “Fortunately in California we have a lot of fresh produce to fall back on. Even during this time of year, we’ll have 16 or 17 tractor trailer loads of fresh produce coming into the food bank.”

KCBS Interviews Paul Ash with the SF Food Bank:

Ash said they get a lot of food donations.  And despite some checks from larger businesses, they rely mainly on monetary donations from individuals.

In terms of poverty and serving people that are hungry, Ash said the tough economic times have played a key role in the Bay Area.

“With the recession, so many people who had jobs, careers and homes have now joined the ranks of those needing food,” he said. “We see those kind of folks applying for food stamps for the first time. We have people that are never going to rejoin the workforce. We continue to serve those folks as well.”

Ash said that the view of San Francisco is changing as well, as some neighborhoods that were thought to be fairly affluent now have food pantries for those in need.

He said the needs are yearlong and they are hoping to put some money and food away for some of the leaner times throughout the year.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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