The economy is an important part of Building a Better Bay Area. ABC7 news reporter David Louie looks at the problem and the challenge ahead.
RELATED: East Bay women provide essential goods to farmworkers working through pandemic, wildfires
There already was a gap in income and food needs before the pandemic. A new analysis finds the gap has gotten worse because of COVID-19 and service workers losing their jobs.
"Their unemployment rates are as high as 20 or 30 percent, so we're seeing a disproportionate impact on women, on people of color, on families and definitely those that were already struggling," said economist Rachel Massaro at Joint Venture Silicon Valley's Institute for Regional Studies.
Massaro worked on a research study with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, which supports a network of 300 partners who distribute fresh produce and other food across the region. The volume of calls for food has spiked six-fold during the pandemic as the price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs has increased 19 percent.
RELATED: Oakland Unified to provide free 'grab and go' meals for all city residents under 18
"Our costs have literally doubled during this crisis, not just because of food cost, but of course, because we were distributing so much more food," said Second Harvest CEO Leslie Bacho.
The new study indicates 11 percent of Silicon Valley adults and nine percent of children sometimes or often have too little to eat.
Children doing at-home distance learning, in some cases, have lost access to breakfast and lunch programs, shifting the burden on families already dealing with unemployment.
One bright spot is home-delivered meals for seniors. Their need for nutritious food for good health is important due to their vulnerability to COVID-19 and the need to stay at home.
One million meals have been delivered during the pandemic by Meals on Wheels, an increase of 350 percent.
Many other senior service groups are also stepping up. As food insufficiency grows, so does the need for more cash and food donations and volunteers to meet demand.
VIDEO: San Francisco restaurant transforms into grocery store amid COVID-19 pandemic
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here. Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- Watch list: Counties where COVID-19 is getting worse
- MAP: Everything that's open, forced to close in Bay Area
- Everything to know about CA's confusing reopening plan, summer shutdown and what comes next
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Experts compare face shield vs. face mask effectiveness
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic