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Monterey County food banks seeing an increase in families

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)- The Food Bank for Monterey County is seeing many families coming through its doors.

The food banks told KION rent, cost of food, and the soaring gas prices are what's driving up the need.

“Those are the largest items of any household and they are rising faster than they have in decades,” said Melissa Kendrick, the Executive Director for the Food Bank for Monterey County.

With prices going up, people are having to adjust how they live.

“I've had to cut back on my usual habits,” one person told KION. “Like getting coffee at Starbucks and just expenses that are optional for me. I've stopped eating out.”

The Food Bank for Monterey County tells KION, the number of people going hungry is growing. The spike in gas prices is hurting the families it serves.

“They're quadruple what they were before the pandemic,” said Kendrick. “Now we're seeing those numbers rising again.”

Over the last two years, the Food Bank for Monterey County distributed more than 48 million pounds of food with just a staff of 29 people. The food bank's also in dire need of volunteers.

“We used to rely on 500 volunteers a month,” said Kendrick. “Our volunteers have been cut to a fifth of what they were.”

Kendrick said one of the best ways to help is to donate funds and time to the food bank.

People who would like to help donate or find a food distribution site can check out the Food Bank for Monterey County’s website.

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Ana Torrea

Weekend Anchor/Reporter for KION News Channel 5/46


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