Community FoodBank of San Benito & California Association of Food Banks Come Together to Launch
Everyone to the Table: New Campaign to Call Californians to Join the Fight to End Hunger
Food banks statewide come together in first-ever campaign to
combat ongoing food insecurity and calls for all Californians to help create a hunger-free state
Hollister, October 15, 2021 – Last week, Community FoodBank of San Benito joined the California Association of Food Banks, California’s leading anti-hunger nonprofit organization, in launching Everyone to the Table, a new statewide public engagement campaign to raise awareness of the ongoing hunger crisis in California and provide ways that everyone can “come to the table” and be a part of the solution.
Everyone to the Table is a call for community support as hunger remains at a high level statewide, with 1 in 5 households in California facing food insecurity – a staggering 8 million people (as of March 2021). And there is a disproportionately high level of food insecurity experienced among Black, Latinx, and Indigenous households and homes with children. As of September 2021, more than a third of Latinx families and almost a third of Black Californians are food insecure.
California’s food banks are central to ending hunger and played a highly visible role in emergency aid as the COVID-19 pandemic quickly became a hunger crisis, serving communities on the frontlines like never before. The California Association of Food Banks’ 41 member food banks distributed 1.1 billion pounds of food in 2020 – that’s almost 917 million meals – and continue to operate at surge capacity, serving exponentially more people compared to pre-pandemic numbers.
“We are in recovery from the pandemic, but we are still facing a hunger crisis” said Nancy Frusetta, Executive Director of the Community FoodBank of San Benito. She continues, “The number of food insecure people skyrocketed to three times what it was before the pandemic, but we were able to meet the need thanks to the outpouring of support from the community and government funding. Now, the need has not dropped – we are reaching an average of 19,000 people and 275K pounds of food a month, but support has fallen off steeply. Today, we join with our partner Food Banks to ask you to take action and stand with us in our fight against hunger.”
The economic picture lays out a long and uncertain road to recovery. More families in California face a looming hunger cliff and may be dealing with the financial impacts of the pandemic for years to come. Despite a recent hiring surge, as of September 2021, California has the second highest unemployment rate in the country with 7.5% of our resident out of work, and with agriculture-producing region rates lingering in the double-digits. And on September 4, 2021, 2.2 million Californians lost unemployment benefits, and the nearly one million people who are behind on rent, just lost protections against eviction.
“Access to food is a basic human right. We need everyone to the table to prevent hunger from rising during the fragile recovery, and as we work towards to a hunger-free future for all Californians,” said Sarah Nordwick, Director of Outreach at Community FoodBank of San Benito. Nordwick adds “hands-on volunteers and monetary donations make a huge difference in ensuring food is accessible to our neighbors in need. Food insecurity remains dangerously high in our county, and we are not slowing down any time soon. Join us in this fight!”
For more information and to join the movement to end hunger in California, visit Everyonetothetable.org.