Bay Area Food Banks Worry About Potential Surge In Demand Amid Pandemic Unemployment

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With the high unemployment rate due to the coronavirus pandemic and the expiration of enhanced unemployment benefits, Bay Area food banks are worried that demand for their services will continue to grow. 

“Already we are serving twice as many people as we were serving pre-pandemic, and we’re preparing to potentially see a spike in more people coming to us with this drop in unemployment benefits,” said Leslie Bacho, the CEO of Second Harvest of Silicon Valley Food Bank.

Congressional leaders continue to negotiate an extension of the enhanced benefits, but even if one is agreed to soon, there will be a gap before people receive the money.  

“One thing we know is that most of the people we serve do not have a lot of savings, or they have no savings at all, and having to weather these kinds of ups and downs in income is very hard,” Bacho said. “So, we’re just concerned that, you know, even several weeks of a gap in this kind of increased benefit could lead to people losing their housing or needing to seek help from the food banks.” 

All Bay Area food banks are asking for monetary contributions.