A Different Banking Crisis in Need of Fresh Capital - Food Banks
People lined up for food last week at one of the distribution outlets supported by the San Francisco Food Bank. The food bank's managers fret that they won't be able to keep up with demand despite improved fund raising.
WSJ 11/20/08: As the nation's financial crisis spread earlier this fall, several thousand people pressed forward in a line to make a withdrawal from a bank in suburban San Diego.
The line stretched out the building, up the street and past the fire station. They walked away with boxes filled not with money but vegetables, fruit, pasta and juice.
It was a run on a food bank.
As the economy sours, the nation's food banks are struggling to feed a surge of Americans worried about finding their next meal. The challenge remains great even in the face of significant infusions of assistance from corporate America.
In the past two decades, a vast system of food banks has evolved to support the millions of people in the U.S. -- one in nine households last year -- that have difficulty affording enough food for all their family members at some time during the year.
The economic shock didn't help. Food and gas prices soared early this year. And even as those prices have abated, recent economic woes -- layoffs and house foreclosures -- have lengthened lines for food across the country. "We expect it will get worse before it gets better," said Vicki Escarra, Feeding America chief executive.
Feeding America says demand at food banks is up about 25% across the country over a year ago, including a surge in first-time clients. More than one-third of those Feeding America serves live in a household where at least one person is employed; about a third of its clients are children, 10% elderly and only about 12% are homeless.
In San Diego in September, more than 4,000 people -- double the expectations -- flocked to the Word of Life Worship Center for food from the Feeding America-San Diego Food Bank, forming a line that snaked through the neighborhood.
Moving on to Videos:
It's a sign of the times: Demand for assistance from local charities and food banks has dramatically increased in 2008
Like many other food banks, supplies at many Salvation Army warehouses have been dwindling while demand for assistance is increasing.
OUT OF FOOD!
We're only a year into the opening stages of a long economic crisis and it's going to get far worse in the YEARS ahead... Millions of FAMILIES will eventually become homeless, unemployment will be rampant, soup kitchens will sprout up around the nation and times will be very hard for many.
There is one bright side to the equation however - America's obesity crisis will quickly become a thing of the past.
Just some food for thought (no pun intended)