Financial donations help the most

While food banks usually bring treats to those in need at this time of year, demand picks up again in the Bay Area on Thanksgiving.

As the population ages and the economy gets tougher, food banks aren’t just a hedge against inflation. For many people, they are a hedge against malnutrition or worse, and they need your help.

A Hindu service group brought six carloads of food to the Contra Costa and Solano Food Bank in Concord as an act of kindness to others and a life lesson for their young children. “We are just trying to contribute to our society and this is the best way we can tell our children how you can contribute and this is a society we live in and you have to support people who are in need,” said Nitin Bakhrial. , Hindu volunteer Swansewag Sangh.

In every way, hunger is a numbers game: a complex equation of numbers of people, numbers of food donations, numbers of dollars, numbers of volunteers, numbers of transportation costs, supply chain issues and, most importantly, numbers of people in need. “Demand has almost doubled, in some cases,” said Willie Mendoza, food sorting coordinator for the Contra Costa Food Bank.

Currently, one in six of the two million residents of Contra Costa and Solano County depend on their food bank for some level of sustenance. That’s at least 333,000 people. Most likely more. “There’s a good chance that because of some of the numbers we’re not picking up, those people may not be aware of the resources that are available,” Mendoza said.

The Food Bank covers 1,700 square miles, from Richmond in the west to Yolo County 44 miles to the east. “Bethel Island and Discovery Bay to the east, or you’re going to Richmond in the west and everywhere in between,” Mendoza said. Also, Solano County from Vallejo in the west to the Rio Vista and Yolo County line to the east.

Over 300 partner organizations make sure every corner of the county is served. “A huge network of nonprofits that help feed the community or pantry kitchens right away; you name it,” Mendoza said.

For food banks, it’s all about purchasing power. For example, with your $1, the food bank can convert that into two meals. If you or I do it alone, it could be up to $10. “We don’t buy cans or cans,” Mendoza said. “We buy thousands of cans at once. That’s where the purchasing power comes from.”

Every food bank loves and appreciates actual food donations. But the bucks really do benefit from more food.

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