The Yuma Community Food Bank has seen record numbers for individuals served and is now running low on donated food. KAWC's Maya Springhawk Robnett reports...
The nonprofit saw about 22-hundred individuals visit the food bank on August 1st alone. That’s more than 600 families—compared to the previous record of about 400 families. President and CEO Shara Merten said it was unexpected.
“These numbers are exceeding the historical numbers that we have in our system at this time and I don’t know what to attribute it to,” Merten said. “Typically, in the summertime we do hit higher numbers because there’s more unemployment and there are children who are out of school, so there is a greater need for food. But this is extraordinary. ”
The food bank receives USDA commodities to give out to families, such as canned foods, but Merten said it doesn’t go very far. With the extra demand, she is calling on the community for help. In particular, the Food Bank is asking for food such as vegetables, dried beans, and fruit.
Despite the area being an agricultural food source for the rest of the country, one in four children in Yuma County faces food insecurity and in 2013, 17.8 percent of individuals lived in poverty.