The Capital Area Food Bank is launching a one million dollar campaign to underwrite the cost of acquiring 15 million pounds of fresh produce and distributing it to our partner agencies. Our goal is to reaffirm our commitment to provide wholesome fruits and vegetables to those we serve.
We are in the midst of a hunger crisis here in the Washington area and across the nation. The food bank’s transportation and food costs have increased by 30 percent in the last three months. Hunger in our region has increased by more than 25 percent since 2006 and people who are at risk of hunger exceeds 640,000 here in the metropolitan area. That includes one out of every two children in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital. This economy is impacting not only the poor, but the middle class.
People are losing homes, are working two and three jobs to make ends meet, and many are unable to find work. In the past ten years, 50,000 manufacturing plants have closed throughout this country and 8 million jobs have disappeared and with these troubling realities, Congress is proposing $800 million in cuts to nutrition programs and cuts to many of the programs that have helped to create a vibrant economy and a strong, robust and healthy nation.
We find ourselves in the perfect storm. If the food bank is not able to find additional funding, we deeply regret that we will be forced – for the first time in our 31-year history — to pass along to our partner agencies a shared maintenance fee of 10 cents a pound for fresh produce. While this fee is a fraction of the value of fresh produce, it is an enormous new financial burden for our agencies, especially the smaller and more vulnerable ones.
The Capital Area Food Bank is looking to you, our community, to ensure that this incredibly important fresh produce program will continue as it has in the past. Your trust and support will lift a burden and will ensure that we and our agencies can continue to help feed the 480,000 people that we serve annually though our network of programs
Your support is urgently needed. Please make your donation on-line and designate that you want your contribution to support our fresh produce campaign.