Sue Sigler is Executive Director of the California Association of Food Banks. She says demand is up 30 to 50 percent at food banks around the state. She blames the recession and rising unemployment – as well as the drought. She says the need in some Central Valley communities has spiked because there are so many unemployed farm workers. Sigler says food banks are adapting to cope with the increased demand:
“Many food banks have responded by serving more people but giving them a little less food than they might have received two years ago.”
Sigler says on the positive side, donations to food banks are up. And she says federal stimulus money has helped. Sigler estimates that food banks are currently serving about five million Californians.