1 in 4 San Franciscans struggle with hunger

Posted on 10. Jun, 2017 by in Justice

According to the SF-Marin Food Bank, 23 percent of San Francisco residents struggle with hunger.

The number is a striking amount, and much higher than the city’s homeless population, which the city said was 6,686 in 2015 (though others estimate it to be much higher), making it less than 1 percent of the population.

Food insecurity is an often-misunderstood topic that has been thrust into the national conversation, given the White House’s federal budget proposal that aims to cut the food stamp program by $193 billion over 10 years, a reduction of 25 percent. In the Bay Area, staffers at San Francisco’s Human Services Agency recently said that immigrants’ fear of deportation is keeping eligible San Franciscans from signing up for food stamps.

Yet the hunger statistic is supported by data from several sources. Clear definitions do exist, generated by numbers surrounding the poverty line and a city’s cost of living.

“Hunger is the general term related to not having enough food,” said Teri Olle, director of policy and advocacy for SF-Marin Food Bank, a 30-year-old nonprofit that provides free produce and other groceries to 225,000 people in San Francisco annually.

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