SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The pandemic has led the San Francisco Marin food bank to serve more people than it ever has before.
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 volunteer Rebecca Cowlin.
Prior to the public health emergency, the food bank relied on 1200 volunteers a week to pack-up and distribute meals and groceries.
But that number has since more than doubled to 2500 volunteers a week.
“I done been homeless, so i understand the struggle a lot — a lot. I can correlate with it,” said volunteer Dexter Culclager.
The food bank is currently serving more than 55,000 households a week.
That’s up from 30,000 households before the pandemic.
“And, what we’re learning right now is so many that we’re serving have never needed food assistance before,” said food bank spokesperson Katy McKnight.
She 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,” said McKnight.
For Thanksgiving, McKnight says the food bank will hand out more than 1.4 million meals.
Eclipsing last years mark of 880,000 holiday dinners.
“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,” said volunteer Dexter Culclager.
The food bank is prepared to continue serving the community at these historic levels as long as there is a need.