One out of every six residents in Alameda County is served by the Alameda County Community Food Bank. The non-profit agency partners with 275 member agencies to provide almost 50,000 people with food each week. In addition to working with soup kitchens and food pantries, the Food Bank’s Community Outreach Program helps eligible individuals and families apply for nutrition assistance programs, like CalFresh, formerly known as food stamps.
Earlier this month, a temporary increase in food stamps—enacted during the financial crisis—expired. More than 47 million people are affected—that’s one in seven Americans. These are the deepest cuts to the federal program since it started back in 1964. It means that a family of three now has 29 dollars less to spend on food every month.
In California, the food stamp program is called Cal-Fresh. And local food banks are seeing first hand what happens when money is cut. Keisha Nzewi, the Advocacy Manager for the Alameda County Community Food Bank came to the station here at KALW to talk about the future of food distribution in the Bay Area.