San Francisco-Marin Food Bank seeks donations amid increased costs due to pandemic

Community FoodBank of New Jersey operations include keeping shelves stocked with donated goods and commodities gleaned from food distributors and producers, on January 20, 2016, in Hillside, New Jersey. (Lance Cheung/USDA via Bay City News)

Officials with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank said Monday that their organization is urgently seeking funds as it continues to face challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Issues with labor shortages, increased transportation costs and food prices, and food scarcity have intensified over the last year, hindering the organization's ability to provide people in need with groceries, food bank officials said.

Faced with higher expenses, the food bank is hoping to raise 60 percent of its annual budget by the year's end.

"We need to raise 60 percent of our annual budget in the last few days of the year to fulfill the financial goals required to meet the needs of our community," San Francisco-Marin Food Bank Executive Director Tanis Crosby said in a statement.

"We're working to keep up with rising food prices from supply chain problems, but it all puts a huge strain on our financial resources, making year end giving more critical, and with the Omicron variant surging, we are deeply concerned that the need for food assistance will keep growing into a significant part of 2022. We're asking everyone in the community to step up and give whatever they can and join us in ending hunger," she said.

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Currently, the food bank distributes about one million meals to more than 50,000 households currently. Prior to that pandemic, the organization served significantly less at 32,000 households a week.

Food bank recipients are enrolled through the state program CalFresh, with the organization offering home deliveries of groceries, which includes fresh fruits and vegetables, organization officials said.

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