Food banks gear up for Thanksgiving

Noel King Nov 25, 2015
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A SF-Marin Food Bank customer pushes a cart with turkeys at the SF-Marin Food Bank on November 13, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Food banks gear up for Thanksgiving

Noel King Nov 25, 2015
A SF-Marin Food Bank customer pushes a cart with turkeys at the SF-Marin Food Bank on November 13, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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For many food banks, the holiday season is a good time to ramp up the collection of donations. 

“What we’re doing now, in terms of what we’re raising money for and what we’re raising food for, will carry us through the New Year,” said Sonya Warwick, the communications officer at Roadrunner Food Bank in New Mexico.

The holidays tend to spur generosity.

“When we’re advertising and we say we need 100 turkeys or we need 50 pies or we need so many bags of dressing, people respond,” said Ron Busroe, national secretary for Community Relations and Development at the Salvation Army.

What perplexes advocates for America’s poor is that even as the unemployment rate declines and other economic indicators point toward a recovery, the number of people showing up at food banks remains stubbornly high. 

“For the past seven or eight years, we have seen record levels of demand at our food banks,” said Roscoe Fraser, a spokesperson for Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks across the country. “Four years ago, we were feeding 37 million people. By 2014, we were feeding 46 million people a year.”

And, Fraser added, many of those who need food assistance are employed. 

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