With the close of the year approaching, food banks throughout the Bay Area are hoping for more donations to help get through the early part of 2013.
"This time of year, with a week and a half to go in December, is critical fundraising time," spokesman of Alameda County Community Food Bank Mike Altfest said.
Many food banks, like the Alameda County organization, will not know exactly how their donation drive went until the first week of January.
"It's still too early to tell," spokeswoman for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Lisa Sherrill said.
Donation bins can be found at various grocery stores, libraries, corporate building lobbies and small businesses throughout the Bay Area. Monetary donations are accepted as well.
A year ago, the Alameda County food bank had 700,000 pounds of food donated. As of Wednesday, the tally of food donated was 300,000 pounds, Altfest said.
And at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, a total of 840,000 pounds of food and $4.4 million has been collected as of last week, CEO Kathy Jackson said. The Hillside Church of God in South San Francisco is one of the Second Harvest distribution sites.
Jackson said, however, the goal at Second Harvest is two million pounds of food and $12.4 million in collections.
"That's a staggering hole we need to fill, and that's scary," Jackson said.
But many of the food banks expect an increase in donations prior
to the end of the calendar year as people contribute tax-deductible gifts to
fight hunger during this time of year.
"People tend to think about us during the holidays, which will provide food for the spring and summer months," spokeswoman of the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks Blain Johnson said.
The food banks welcome the donations this time of year, but could always use more.
"But the work we do for hunger, we do year round," Johnson said.
Altfest seconds that sentiment, saying, "Hunger is thought of most
this time of year, but it's a yearlong problem."
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