San Francisco Food Bank needs donations

November 12, 2010 7:52:40 PM PST
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and as many Americans plan their holiday menus, others simply can't afford a turkey dinner with any of the trimmings, and right now, neither can the food pantries that serve the needy.

San Francisco's Page Street Baptist food pantry is a lifeline for 400 families or about 1,100 people a week.

"Mainly low-income families and we have about 75 to 80 percent who are homeless," says Rev. Robert Johnson from Page Street Baptist.

Rev. Johnson runs the food pantry. He volunteered here for three years before being offered that job and before that, he was a homeless client himself.

He says centers like this one are dying for volunteers, and this time of year, they're in need for the same special foods enjoyed by everyone else.

"Go and help someone who don't have what you have, and watch how what a big difference it will make. It will put a smile on their face and they feel that they can go that extra mile," says Johnson.

Using grant funding, Page Street buys its food from the San Francisco Food Bank.

"We need turkeys, we need chickens, we need cranberry sauce, we need canned fruits and vegetables, anything you would think of for a traditional holiday meal," says Stacy Newman from the San Francisco Food Bank.

Newman says the need has increased yet again this year. Financial donations are not only accepted, but preferred. Newman says for every $1 donated, the food bank can provide $6 worth of food.

"Nothing else matters when you're hungry. When you're hungry, you can't concentrate, you can't work, you can't really get through your daily tasks, you're tired, you feel down. You know, nothing else matters when you're hungry," says Newman.

Turkey donations have started trickling in to the San Jose Salvation Army, 68 so far, but that is less than half what they need. In Antioch they have seven, but need 150.

ABC7's Thanksgiving Food Drive: 1-800-870-FOOD


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