Food banks and groups feeding the hungry in the Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 20: SF-Marin Food Bank hands out 1600 food bags at a pop-up pantry at Bayview Opera House in San Francisco, Calif., on Monday, April 20, 2020. (Scott Strazzante/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

One of the unfortunate realities of life in the Bay Area is that many residents are unable to afford to feed themselves and their families.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the crisis. Long lines at Bay Area food banks are a common sight. An estimate by a group of local food banks says that as many as 1.5 million people living in the Bay Area need their assistance.

Officials from these groups have said that it has been an enormous challenge to keep up with the demand. If you would like to help feed neighbors who might otherwise be hungry, please consider donating to these groups.

Alameda County Community Food Bank: ACCFB has been at the forefront of hunger relief efforts in the Bay Area since 1985. The Food Bank serves 1 in 5 Alameda County residents by distributing food through a network of 350 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community organizations, as well as direct-distribution programs.

Redwood Empire Food Bank: Established in 1987, the Redwood Empire Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization from Sonoma County to the Oregon border, encompassing Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley: Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is one of the largest food banks in the nation, serving all of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Since the pandemic hit, Second Harvest has been providing nutritious food to an average of 500,000 people a month, twice the number of people it served before the pandemic.

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano: An alarming 1 in 9 people within Contra Costa and Solano counties turn to the Food Bank for emergency and supplemental food. Food Bank CCS serves 178,000 people every month in those counties