San Francisco

Bay Area Food Banks Face Low Volunteer Pool Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

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Bay Area food banks have seen a record number of people in need, but now they are having problems getting enough volunteers to get the job done.

Volunteers are the lifeline of food banks across San Jose and San Francisco, but the pandemic has made it more difficult to find people willing to help due to risk of contagion.

"We can't do any of the work we do without our volunteers, said a San Francisco food bank employee, "we haven't been able to deliver the food as efficiently as we'd like to."

With companies urging employees to stay home, food banks have been serving twice the amount of people they used to serve before the pandemic. This has also made the volunteer pool more shallow than ever.

A food bank employee said corporate groups, school and community groups would help in the past but now they can't do so in the same way due to the pandemic.

"If you have the opportunity to physically go and you're comfortable doing it, please by all means do it," said the employee about volunteering for local food banks.

In addition to a shallow pool of volunteers, another challenge is the limited amount of people allowed in the room at any given time because of distance restrictions.

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