San Mateo County is one of the most affluent communities in the world and ranks third in California with San Francisco ranking number two.
So it is surprising that approximately 22% of San Mateo County Adults are ‘Food Insecure’, meaning they do not have enough to eat and may not know where their next meal is coming from. That is just the adult figures – which are amazing enough. Add in our children and the numbers are overwhelming. A 2012 press release from the San Mateo County Human Health Services sites the high cost of housing as one of the major factors in forcing our neighbors to decide between rent or food.
‘Another significant barrier to a nutritious diet is the high cost of living in San Mateo County where many households must choose between a high quality diet and housing. To qualify for CalFresh, a household of three typically needs to earn less than
$2,070 per month while the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,159 (County ofSan Mateo, Department of Housing).’
While we do have many outreach programs the social stigma attached to folks receiving a ‘hand out’ creates a challenge that we must be aware of. Many people are working full time or multiple jobs yet depend on food banks to help them make it through the month.
On Saturday May 11 our local post office will join in the National Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive and we are asking that our neighbors step up to help out. It’s easy and the food goes directly to our local neighbors in need.
“We may not have enough bags to give to all of the households” said Phil our South City postman and coordinator for this project locally. “If people do not receive a bag it is ok to put items out using your own bags. Just be sure to mark it clearly and leave it next to your mailbox on Saturday May 11th.”
All food items are needed yet the Post Office is requesting no items in glass bottles and of course, no expired items either. Canned meats, fish, soups, juices, vegetables, pastas, rice and cereals are greatly appreciated.
For those needing a longer term solution to food shortages in their homes, you can apply online for Calfresh benefits or call (800) 223-8383 for more information.