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North Bay food bank sees fast-growing need for their service

North Bay food bank works to meet growing need for their service
North Bay food bank works to meet growing need for their service 02:24

SANTA ROSA -- Even in fertile regions like Lake County, Mendocino County and Sonoma County, there are people going hungry -- people who the Redwood Empire Food Bank helps day-in, day-out.

"There's an awful lot of need out there," said David Goodman, CEO of Redwood Empire Food Bank. "Last year this time we were serving 45,000 people every single month. Same month, this year, 59,000 people."

Though the need is growing, their support hasn't grown with it. Right now, they're down 25 percent in donations.

"If there ever were a time for people to step up and make a difference, now is the time," he said.

Goodman says even a dollar goes farther than many people may realize.

"For every $1 we spend, we distribute $3 worth of food," he said. "Who wouldn't want that kind of investment?"

If financial help is off the table, he explained an hour of volunteering makes a huge difference, too.

Though helping those struggling with hunger is often top of mind during the holiday season, Goodman explained that community support often drops off once the holiday season passes. However, helping those with food insecurity is a year-round mission, he said.

"Hunger is agnostic. It doesn't really care about Thanksgiving or Christmas or anything else," he said. "The coldest day at a food bank is the day after Christmas when everybody just turns away for the next nine months until the holidays come around again. Hunger is persistent. For every food bank ... go to their website. There is an ability to donate now, there's an ability to volunteer now, there are abilities to make food contributions now. And, of course,  contact your public officials and let them know that more support is needed."

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