Some Silicon Valley residents under financial stress with growing tech economy

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- Silicon Valley has all the markings of a boomtown as more housing and office projects get built, but there are some disturbing indicators that the state of the valley is fragile.

The annual report card by Joint Venture Silicon Valley points out unemployment is at a 19 year low.

Median household income is at an all-time high of $126,000. However, income inequality is at a historic high, and the population has dropped three years in a row. 8000 people left last year.

"We have very high earners, and they are thriving, and they're building out the tech sector. But the rest of us are in those stagnating quadrants of the economy," said Dr. Russell Hancock, Joint Venture Silicon Valley CEO.

With housing prices, the highest in the country, some Silicon Valley families are making choices each month either to pay rent or to buy food.

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It's Wednesday morning, and a long queue of cars is lined up along Sunnyvale's Kifer Road. As they turn into the driveway at Sunnyvale Community Services, two lines are formed as volunteers load freshly loaded bags of groceries for its monthly distribution program.

The clients today are seniors. Next week, it will be families picking up food. Every Monday, fresh fruit and vegetables are distributed.

In her 22 years living in Sunnyvale, Barbara Gilmour says the need has never been greater. She and other energetic volunteers bagging food believe they're making a difference.

Sunnyvale Community Services also provides help for the homeless and those facing financial problems because help to feed families isn't the only need.

"We're constantly connecting people to benefits they're entitled to get, resources that might help increase their income. We have financial literacy coaches," said Marie Bernard, executive director.

The Silicon Valley Index points out those left behind as the tech sector continues to grow remain one paycheck away from disaster.

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