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Half million Placer residents rely on food bank

Roseville urged to take action on hunger
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Placer Food Bank reached a record in 2010 — but not in a good way.

More than 500,000 people used services from the food shelter, a 168 percent increase since 2007. The final totals for the 2011 fiscal year are still being calculated, and are expected to have increased by another 20 to 30 percent, according to Executive Director Dave Martinez, in a news release.

“There is no question that with the continuing economic uncertainty, more and more people will have to rely on their local food bank to provide supplemental and emergency food this year,” Martinez said. “Unfortunately, while the need has grown, donations and other sources of funding for our services have not kept pace. The current need has now outpaced our ability to fund it.”

The Placer Food Bank is hosting a community open house Thursday, Sept. 1, at its warehouse in Roseville to kick off national Hunger Action Month. The public will have a chance to tour the facilities, meet food bank representatives, learn about volunteer opportunities and find out about the Hunger Action Month Campaign.

The nationwide movement of the Feeding America network of food banks attempts to raise awareness of domestic hunger and hunger-related issues, and to ultimately end hunger.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that one in six Americans struggle with food insecurity, which means they don’t know where they’ll find their next meal.

More than 200 food banks across the nation will participate in the Hunger Action Month Campaign, which includes specific ways individuals can take action to fight domestic hunger this September using the “30 Ways in 30 Days” calendar — participants can advocate and raise awareness, make donations or volunteer.

“Our goal this year is to get more nutritious food out to our partner agencies and into the hands of those in our community who need it,” Martinez said. “We need to mobilize the community to make this goal a reality. We are always looking for additional volunteers and to increase both our monetary and food donations.”

~ Sena Christian

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Placer Food Bank open house
When:
5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1
Where: Placer Food Bank warehouse, 8284 Industrial Ave. in Roseville
Cost: Free, open to the public. Register online.
Info: www.placerfoodbank.org

Placer Food Bank family volunteer day
When:
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17
Where: Placer Food Bank warehouse, 8284 Industrial Ave. in Roseville
Cost: Free, open to the public. Kids’ activities, free farmers market, nutrition information, volunteer activities and more. Register online.
Info: www.placerfoodbank.org

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Hunger in America
14.3 percent of Americans live in poverty
20.7 percent of children under 18 live in poverty
14.7 percent of households are food insecure
5.7 percent of households experience very low food security
14 percent of Placer County residents are food insecure

Source: Placer Food Bank. Results from 2009 studies.