BY THE NUMBERS
•350,000: The number of individuals the Second Harvest Food Bank helps in a seven-county region in a year.
•226: The number of non-profits that rely on Second Harvest to secure food for the needy they serve.
•$25: The size of a donation that will allow the food bank to secure $180 worth of food for families in need.
•25%: The increase in need from 2008
•2,700: The number of seniors who get between 15 and 18 pounds of supplemental groceries per month.
•2,800: The number of children who receive up to 18 pounds of supplemental groceries twice a month to help feed their families providing they complete eight hours of tutoring and recreational activities each week.
•7,000,000: The number of pounds of food distributed during 2008.
“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.