A Tale of Two States
Despite the economic boom of Silicon Valley and the riches of Hollywood- both industries helping Californians rank 11% higher than the national average in terms of income and earnings- there remains a stark disparity between those who earn well and those who don’t.
This is most evident in California’s housing crisis, where there aren’t enough affordable units for purchase, let along rent. A 2018 report by Environmental Progress states that at least 30% of income goes toward housing. That doesn’t count taxes or anything else!
These factors and many more have led to a major problem: food insecurity.
The California Association of Food Banks estimates that about 12.5% of Californians do not know where their next meal is coming from. This is roughly one in every eight residents, but the statistics for children are even more startling. At least one out of every five children in California go to bed hungry every night.
A Nutritious Intervention
To help ease the burdens of food insecurity, income inequality, and the cost of living, Tzu Chi USA has hosted a Mobile Food Pantry program since November 2016. Through our mobile service, we serve low-income families, often non-English speaking, across Southern California who struggle with meeting basic needs.
Unlike many pantries who mostly offer canned goods, we offer perishables that include fresh produce and vegetables, dairy products, and dry goods like rice, beans, and more. This way, we can also help combat the rising complications of obesity and help give even our littlest Californians the nutrition they need to grow big and strong.