Sunday, November 21, 2010

Food Banks Stretched To The Limits

Due to the economic turndown and high demand food banks across America are being stretched to the limit

By Allen Bacon, Editor, The Daily Bosco

You can see the signs everywhere that things are offsides economically. Many people I talk to are flat out worried. Layoffs, foreclosures...a very tentative attitude toward spending. When Salvation Army and Goodwill are now becoming the store of choice for clothes and home items something is amiss.

But nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to wondering where your next meal is coming from. I was in for an eye-opener when I visited a local Food Bank recently.

The Interfaith Food Center which services Whittier and La Mirada in Southern California is stretched almost beyond capacity. The IFC which started in 1983 servicing 30 families is now providing food for over 1000 families a month. Let me repeat that...1000 families...That's shocking. And this is only one town in America. A town in a relatively affluent area of the country. The day I visited, a slow day....a Monday, Director Veronica Hernandez showed me a list that filled the front and back of three sheets of paper...this is people that availed themselves of the valuable service.

What's making it hard is that there is a strain on the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. It's the old supply and demand. Too much demand now is taking away some of the supply from the local agencies.

In Whittier, one of the major supermarkets decided to not give their surplus to the IFC without a reasonable explanation, making things even harder. Fortunately, private donations, support from most of the area supermarkets, and the LA Regional Food Bank along with an extremely hard-working group of volunteers that is comprised of most religious faiths in Whittier is making a difference.

But there is always room for more help. If you can help, check to see the volunteer opportunities for the food banks that service your city or town.

Here's a couple of ideas for agencies to support from this area: The Interfaith Food Center of Whittier and La Mirada. Call them at 562.903.1478 to see what opportunities exist to help....Fullerton Interfaith Emergency Services can be contacted at 714.680.3691. Any time, money and donations would be greatly appreciated at both centers.

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