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United Way of the Bay Area

Hunger Could be Closer Than You Think

Posted on May 12, 2010, by United Way in Partners Health

Over at the East Bay Express they have a good article about the USDA's report (which we discussed here) about hunger in which they highlight a few stories of local people who don't have enough to eat. The piece focuses on food insecurity which is not just a measurement of people who don't have enough to eat, but "also those who've had to reduce the amount they eat, skip meals, or eat food they know isn't good for them, because they can't afford what it really takes to eat."

These people are forced to rely on food banks and pantries to get by. in the article is says that "almost five million people went to food pantries last year, up from 4 million the year before. About 625,000 ate in soup kitchens."

The full article is worth reading if only for the snapshots of local families dealing with food insecurity like this one:

Coleen McEneany used to be a private investigator. Her husband worked for Circuit City as an information technology specialist. But the PI work dried up in the recession, and Circuit City closed. With their daughter, they moved into the Fremont home of her mother, a retired sixth-grade teacher. While the home has a pool in back and well-tended garden, the family resources were stretched so thin that they now depend on food and help from Tri-City Volunteers. Ironically, she knew about the food pantry because she and her husband were both donors to the program back when they were working. Nevertheless, with a degree in criminal justice, Coleen has hopes that she'll somehow find a job. In the meantime, she is taking courses for a degree in early childhood education.

If you or someone you know needs help with food, 2-1-1 is a great place to start to find a food bank or pantry. There are ways to fight hunger in the Bay Area, for ideas go here.

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