The effects of the tough economy are readily apparent at Los Angeles and Orange county food banks, as both are having trouble keeping up with demand from people in the region who need assistance. While the economy has improved from the worst of the recession, recent figures show that the number of needy people is still growing. For instance, 330,000 residents are served each month at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County has seen a 70 percent increase in the number of people it has been helping each month. Overall, in the last three years, both organizations have been reaching far more people and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has helped organizations with supplies. The LA Times reports:
“The Los Angeles food bank is distributing about 1.25 million pounds of commodities a week, the equivalent of nearly 1 million meals. But food and financial contributions are leveling off, and some pantries have recently closed, said Michael Flood, the organization's president. […] Flood said many of the people turning up at pantries for the first time have been unemployed for a long time or can't get the hours they need to make ends meet. Repeated cutbacks in government funding for programs that assist the needy are also contributing to the growth in demand while reducing the available resources to help those in need, he said.”
This year deadlocked budget negotiations resulted in a delay in supplies by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Food and Shelter Program and the USDA's Emergency Food Assistance Program had reduced the amount of food it provides due to cutbacks. You can find information about donating or volunteering at the food banks in Orange County and Los Angeles here and here.