SANTA ROSA (KRON) — Employees at the Redwood Empire Food Bank are in crunch time as they prepare to give out food to an estimated 97,000 people over the holiday season. 

The pressure is intensified in the wake of a recent uptick in demand caused by the Kincade Fire and especially the public safety power shut offs that brought people to the food bank, many of whom never expected to need this kind of help.

“Generally when people think about food banks, they think about people who are low income, in desperate need of food and maybe they don’t have a job,” said Sara Olsher with the Redwood Empire Food Bank.  “But really what we find is that disaster is a great equalizer.”

In addition to the unexpected demand, they also have to consider the fact that there could be more of these intentional blackouts that will create more hardship here in sonoma county where already one in six face food insecurity.

Those interested in helping out and go to the food bank’s website where you can either donate money or if you’re wanting to donate food, you can find a list of where they have their food donation barrels around Sonoma County.