Gadgets

Bay Area residents will rely on food aid more than ever this Thanksgiving

Bay Area residents will rely on food aid more than ever this Thanksgiving

Holiday dining will be unusually expensive this year with food prices in the San Francisco area
up 10%
from last year, according to October data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And enrollment for the state’s largest food assistance program is at an all-time high.

More Bay Area residents will rely on financial assistance from CalFresh – California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – this holiday season than in years past. September data showed enrollment in Bay Area counties reached more than 600,000 people, an increase of nearly 50% from September 2019.

At the start of the pandemic, the government made CalFresh more generous, which is one reason many more people signed up to receive food assistance. By January 2022, the average participant receives one
average of $262
In monthly food aid, according to a report by the Public Policy Institute of California. This is an increase of $141 in monthly payments over 2019.
public health emergency,

Still, the public’s need for food assistance hasn’t diminished, according to Meg Davidson, director of policy and advocacy at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, which provides meals to low-income families and people who sign up for CalFresh benefits. up helps.

Whether it’s spikes in COVID-19 cases, people losing their jobs, inflation or rising food prices, Davidson said addressing the need for food aid during the pandemic is like “a game of whack-a-mole” – As soon as one thing ended, another thing came back.

“We’re at a historic level of need, which we’ve been addressing since the beginning of the pandemic,” Davidson said. “It’s not that it’s just not reduced, we’re actually seeing more people — it’s across all of our programs, not just our CalFresh outreach.”

The effects of increased food prices are being felt by households and food banks alike. The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank estimates that this year’s holiday menu will cost the organization 35% more than last year due to inflation.

CalFresh participation rate increased in every Bay Area county from 2019 to 2022. San Francisco saw the highest percentage increase among the nine counties, with a 56% increase in enrollment from September 2019 to September 2022. Contra Costa County saw a 52% increase.

previous chronicle analysis showed that
Rich California County
CalFresh participants have seen the largest increases since the start of the pandemic, mostly because those counties initially had the lowest participation rates.

As the economy slows, inflation is felt especially strongly among workers of color and low-wage workers, according to Abimel Chavez-Hernandez, an economic justice researcher at the San Francisco-based think tank SPUR. Chavez-Hernandez explains in a
recent report
that Black and Brown Bay Area residents were hit particularly hard during the pandemic by job losses and are likely to be especially food insecure.

Chavez-Hernandez believes that even increased CalFresh payments may not be enough to help these struggling families. “Annual adjustments for inflation were made, but recent increases in food prices, especially from April 2021, have made this difficult to maintain,” Chavez-Hernandez said.

Adrianna Razel is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected]



#Bay #Area #residents #rely #food #aid #Thanksgiving

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
healthtips360