The United Nations says the fallout could push more than 250 million to the brink of starvation by the end of this year.
On Friday, a line of cars stretched almost two miles in South San Francisco as 770 families lined up for a food handout from the Second Harvest Food Bank and Hope Ministries.
The recently unemployed and others in need of food assistance lined up for almost two hours hoping for a lifeline -- two weeks worth of food.
“Oh my god, I mentioned people in need, but you don’t realize it until you see something like that,” said Richard Garbarino, mayor of South San Francisco.
Garbarino said the crisis made a bad situation even worse.
Volunteers say that even before noon, there were already 850 cars and only 750 boxes available.
Economists say the demand for food assistance has skyrocketed as unemployment races roward record levels.
“Just the caliber of problems the food banks face right now is enormous,” said global economics expert Robert Woods. “It doesn’t mean there isn’t food in the United States.”
Woods says only certain products like coffee and pork may be in short supply in the U.S., nothing compared to what other counties may face.
“We've been so focused on Europe, China and the U.S., that we aren’t paying attention to the many other countries that are facing enormous problems,” said Woods.