SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Food banks around the country are struggling to meet a rising demand, as they expect to give away double the amount of food they did a decade ago, despite an improving economy.
Sacramento Food Bank and family services gave out more than 11 million pounds of food to the local community in 2014—a number almost double the year before.READ MORE: Family Believes Neighbors' Dogs To Blame For Brutal Attack At Sacramento Farm
“There are families that look no different than we do that are struggling,” said spokeswoman Kelly Siefkin.
The lines at the food distribution in Sacramento continue to get longer.
“The numbers have gone up dramatically in the last few years,” she said. “We have been increased just in probably the last couple of years probably three-fold.”
It’s a demand that can be difficult to keep up with, even with an improving economy and shrinking unemployment.
Mariah Watkins came for the first time on Thursday to feed her grandchildren who unexpectedly moved in with her this summer. Feeding extra people has stretched her thin.
“We ran out of food to feed them,” she said. “I think it’s mostly happening because the food is going up and prices are going up. It’s just getting hard for everybody.”READ MORE: Sacramento Judge Rejects US Bid To Send Refugee To Iraq In Terror Case
Siefkin say many of these families have jobs, but are only working part time or for low wages, or they’ve experienced a tragedy or sudden life change.
“Individuals would never have expected the situation that they are in, perhaps their savings aren’t as robust as they would hope they would be,” she said. “They’ve gone through them and while they are looking for employment they need help.”
The rising cost of living is also hitting people like Jenny Woodhouse.
“When I first moved to Sacramento, I did it because the rents were lower than in the Bay Area, and now that I’ve been here two years the rent’s gone up on me twice already,” she said.
The higher demand has forced the food bank to give out small portions.
“When you have a greater number of demand but the same amount of supply, spreading it thinner is something that definitely has to occur,” Siefkin said.
But people like Watkins are still thankful.MORE NEWS: City Of Davis Cancels Annual Fourth Of July Celebration Due To Public Health Risks
“It helps a lot,” she said. “They wouldn’t be able to eat for the next few days., so yeah we appreciate it.”