CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Veterans Day proved to be a popular day to donate to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano in concord. Gail Strohl came by with her two sons.
"Inflation is really high, the cost of food is really high. There are a lot of families in need right now. So we are really trying to do what we can to help other families," says Strohl.
Across the Bay Area, families and communities continue to struggle with food insecurity. Individual donations are crucial since they account for approximately 70% of the donations the food bank gets. And this year, the need is even greater.
"It is really the perfect storm. Donations are going down, while the need is going up. Many of our most popular programs are seeing an over 50% increase in need. So, any donation really matters," explains Krystine Dinh, the director of communications at the food bank.
Dinh says they serve 275,000 people every month, which is an increase of 100,000 people per month since last year. She says that includes a 50% increase in seniors and 25% increase in children who are in need of food.
"What continues to shock me is that 25%, one-fourth of the people that we serve, are children. And that, to me, is unacceptable," says Dinh.
Part of the increasing need is due to families struggling through the pandemic. That was followed by rising costs due to inflation.
Dinh says there's been a 30% increase in the cost of food. Turkeys alone are up 40% - a popular item during the holiday season, which is the busiest time of the year for the food bank.
"It is astounding to think in the United States there are people who are so needing. But we do need to donate and help," says Gail Frick Barmby, a Walnut Creek resident, who also came by to drop off donations.
And the donations don't have to be big. Just $1 can feed families in need.
"Because we work with local retailers and grocery stores, we have the purchasing power to get certain foods on discount, so no food (gets) wasted. So, every dollar provides at least two meals for people in the community," says Dinh.
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