SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)—The San Francisco Food Bank was denied federal funding for the second year in a row. As a result, the bank's executive director is now seeking donations and requesting a review of the federal funding formula.
"220,000 people live at or near the poverty line," said Paul Ash, the bank's executive director. Ash said despite the great need, the national Emergency Food and Shelter Program didn't give any money because the County of San Francisco didn't meet certain criteria.
According to Ash, a county must have an unemployment rate of at least 10.7 percent and a poverty rate of at least 15.8 percent.
The formula allows counties with lower jobless and poverty rates to qualify for funding if individual cities meet the criteria. East Palo Alto's high poverty and unemployment rates qualify San Mateo County for funds.
KCBS' Margie Shafer Reports:
Ash added that despite large pockets of poverty in places like Bayview Hunter's Point and in the Tenderloin, because the San Francisco is both a city and county, they don't get any money.
Ash noted a "shocking percentage" of people eligible for food stamps are not enrolled. He said if the needy could get enrolled in the program there would be less pressure on the food bank.
"In California fewer than half the people that qualify actually receive that benefit," he said
In the meantime, the food bank will be reaching out for donations to make up for a $160,000 shortfall.
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