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Food bank warehouse is almost bare

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POSTED June 24, 2009 2:28 a.m.
Food is going out of the Second Harvest Food Bank that serves as a “wholesaler” for 226 non-profits serving the needy in seven counties as fast as it is arriving.

“We’re fortunate in that the community is very supportive,” said Mike Mallory who serves as chief executive officer of Second Harvest that is located on Industrial Park Drive.

Many other food bank wholesalers across the country are falling behind. Manteca’s Second Harvest is still keeping ahead of the demand – although just barely.

Even so, Mallory notes it is a major struggle to keep up with the demand that has jumped 25 percent over last year due to unemployment in the overall region hovering around 15 percent.

“Our warehouse is basically empty,” Mallory said.

There are 350,000 people who count on 226 non-profit agencies in seven counties to help stave off hunger. Second Harvest serves as a clearing house or wholesale distribution center, if you will, for the non-profit agencies that pay a small handling fee to obtain groceries. It works well as larger concerns such as food manufacturers and supermarkets want one drop-off point for donations they make. The food bank is also able to buy groceries basically at a rate of $1 to secure $7 worth of groceries.

Mallory noted that they are seeing families that donated food or money last year becoming recipients this year. He noted that despite the economic challenges people have been stepping up to help others.

If you’d like more information on how to help, go to www.localfoodbank.org or call 239-2091.
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