Second Harvest Food Bank struggles with supply chain problems, pandemic, historic demand – CBS San Francisco

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – After more than a year and a half of pandemic adjustment, the Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, one of the country’s largest food banks, is now squeezing into supply chain problems and inflation.

Food costs rose 10% in October, according to Cat Cvengros, Second Harvest’s charity director. “We also see costs, such as cardboard and shipping costs, skyrocketing.”

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The increased cost is significant given that Second Harvest currently distributes £ 12 million a month and feeds 450,000 people a month.

Demand for food aid increased sharply after the outbreak of the pandemic. Now, 20 months later, it is still at an all-time high, 80% above pre-pandemic levels.

“Most of our customers lost hours, and then they went through their savings. So we’ll see for a long time before they recover, “Cvengros said.

In addition, financial assistance is in full swing, but Cvengros remains optimistic.

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“We’re seeing a little softness in donations right now. I’m not very worried because we’re going into the holiday season when we see a lot of activity there. We will definitely keep you updated. But if you gave in last year, trust me, we need your support this year, ”Cvengros said.

The sorting, packaging and distribution of food is primarily handled by charities, which have also been in short supply and activity throughout the pandemic. COVID concerns had kept the two biggest groups out: team building events for older volunteer companies. Shifts in November and December typically fill up quickly, but the need continues even after the holidays.

On Tuesday, volunteers at St. Francis High School in Mountain View worked in sorting rooms to support families in need as part of a social justice class.

“I have a lot of opportunities. It’s really important to me to help them and settle into their position for a moment and try to understand their views,” said Qumilla Byers, a junior at St. Francis High School.

“I find it easy to read about the work people do. But you get appreciation for doing it in person and understanding the work required to serve others, ”said Lily Arangio, a junior at St. Francis High School.

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