Sonora, CA — The number of residents requesting items from area food banks has been growing rapidly.
“With the economy, people are coming in for food that haven´t had to before,” says Billie Westernoff, Director of the HRC Food Bank in San Andreas. “We´ve probably seen between a 50-60% increase from this time last year.”
She notes that donations traditionally peak during the holiday months and then drop back down. Westernoff says the need has not gone away simply because the holiday season is over.
Mark Twain St. Joseph´s Hospital and its four Family Medical Centers are currently collecting food in receptacles in hopes of bringing a van of items to the Food Bank next month. Donations can be dropped off through February 5th.
Anthony Martinez of the ATCAA Food Bank based in Jamestown says his organization is also seeing a growing demand.
“The numbers are through the roof,” he adds.
Martinez is estimating that there has been around a 50% increase in need from this time last year, comparable to HRC.
Beginning February 7th local youth organizations will begin collecting food outside of numerous Tuolumne County supermarkets. The food will benefit a kids program that ATCAA sponsors that currently feeds 450 Tuolumne County children each week.
Written by BJ Hansen