NPOs Launch Food Insecurity Awareness Campaign

The California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) has teamed up with its member food banks, the California Budget & Policy Center and California State Assembly member Buffy Wicks to launch “Everyone to the Table.” The multi-lingual campaign is geared toward raising awareness of food insecurity within California, and provide ways that those concerned can be part of the solution.

The multimedia campaign runs across online, outdoor, print, radio, social media and television channels. It features staff and volunteers from food banks across the Golden State urging Californians to learn, act and give via the EveryonetotheTable.org website.

“Hunger in California is a persistent crisis, but it doesn’t have to be,” California Association of Food Banks CEO Stacia Levenfeld said via a statement. “Everyone to the Table is our call to action. Food insecurity didn’t spike from its pre-pandemic levels – only because of major investments in the nutrition safety net and the extraordinary work of food banks around the state. Without that round the clock work, we know hunger would have been far greater. As headlines focus on recovery, food banks are facing the very real prospect of a major drop-off in federal funding for emergency food: so we’re sounding the alarm. It took nearly 10 years following the 2008 Great Recession for food insecurity to return to pre-recession levels – and we do not want history to repeat itself. We cannot leave communities without a lifeline. Not now, not ever.”

According to figures from Everyone to the Table, as of March 2021 one in five households, totaling around 8 million people, within California face food insecurity. A disproportionately high percentage of those are Black and Latinx households that have children.

During 2020, the 41 food banks that make up the California Association of Food Banks distributed 1.1 million pounds of food, enough for nearly 917 million meals. But the food banks are operating at “surge capacity,” according to the organization, and are serving many more people than they did before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“So many people are yearning for a return to pre-pandemic ‘normalcy,’ but in reality, that could mean more of the same for communities we serve in Fresno – persistent and chronic hunger,” Central California Food Bank co-CEO Natalie Caples said in a statement. “We see the agony of choices food insecure families make between paying for childcare or putting food on the table, the choices older adults make between food and medication – choices no one should have to make.”

More information about Everyone to the Table is available at https://www.everyonetothetable.org/, and the California Association of Food Banks, along with its 41-member food banks, can be accessed at https://www.cafoodbanks.org/.