money.jpgIn response to an announcement by the U.S. Census Bureau indicating poverty levels are at an all-time high since 1951, the San Francisco Food Bank said Thursday the national trend mirrors what San Francisco has been experiencing.

The official federal poverty rate rose to 14.3 percent in 2009, up from 13.2 percent in 2008.

More than 150,000 San Franciscans live at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty line, according to a statement by the food bank, and are likely to experience food scarcity and hungry.

During the time period corresponding to the Census Bureau’s report, the food bank said it saw a nearly 25 percent increase in the number of households requesting food assistance through the food pantry network.

In response to that increased need, the food bank created programs like the Morning Snack Program, which provides healthy snacks to more than 6,000 youth each day.

Distributing more food has also been a food bank priority. In 2009, more than 37 million pounds of food were distributed, up 17 percent from 2008 when the food bank distributed nearly 32 million pounds.

One in four children in San Francisco aren’t certain where their next meal will come from, according to the food bank, and one in five adults are at risk of hunger.

Of the families using food bank services, 84 percent of families with children had at least one person who had lost their job or had hours or pay reduced during 2009, according to the food bank.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • sfmuckraker

    There are probably a lot more San Francisco residents in poverty than reported. Just think about how many single people, SRO residents, and transients earn less than $10,830 per year. It’s just that being in poverty might not affect singles with no debts or liabilities as much as a family of four ($22,050 or less per year, and this article is about those who live 150% below the poverty level).

    Singles with low rent could be poor as hell, yet still live an active lifestyle, and perhaps even go out occasionally. There are many ways to garner free food or eat cheaply sans assistance, at least for a single person. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 1/4 of SF’s adult population live at or below 100% of the poverty level.

    Also ponder how many SFers are so badly in debt (excluding mortgage, which could be considered an investment in good economic times), that their debt exceeds their assets. In mathematical terms, they too are in poverty.

    The Huffington Post has kind words to say about Obama’s stimulus plan, and other programs to help Americans through the recession.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angela-glover-blackwell/poverty-in-black-white-an_b_721124.html

    Nevertheless, some billionaires are still not satisfied and feel oppressed, especially those who might end up making less than $900,000 per HOUR!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/les-leopold/poverty-rises-as-wall-str_b_720719.html

  • sfmuckraker

    There are probably a lot more San Francisco residents in poverty than reported. Just think about how many single people, SRO residents, and transients earn less than $10,830 per year. It’s just that being in poverty might not affect singles with no debts or liabilities as much as a family of four ($22,050 or less per year, and this article is about those who live 150% below the poverty level).

    Singles with low rent could be poor as hell, yet still live an active lifestyle, and perhaps even go out occasionally. There are many ways to garner free food or eat cheaply sans assistance, at least for a single person. I wouldn’t be surprised if at least 1/4 of SF’s adult population live at or below 100% of the poverty level.

    Also ponder how many SFers are so badly in debt (excluding mortgage, which could be considered an investment in good economic times), that their debt exceeds their assets. In mathematical terms, they too are in poverty.

    The Huffington Post has kind words to say about Obama’s stimulus plan, and other programs to help Americans through the recession.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/angela-glover-blackwell/poverty-in-black-white-an_b_721124.html

    Nevertheless, some billionaires are still not satisfied and feel oppressed, especially those who might end up making less than $900,000 per HOUR!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/les-leopold/poverty-rises-as-wall-str_b_720719.html

  • Neo Displacer

    These numbers do not pass the smell test. 18-1/2% of SF is not in poverty. It’s hard to believe what amounts to a food bank press release. It also doesn’t help the discussion either. Phony numbers lead to phony solutions.

    from wikipedia:

    Overstating poverty
    When you hear that someone is “poor,” it brings to mind images of a person who may be homeless and malnourished. Fortunately, however, that description is not reflective of the majority of individuals labeled as poor by the federal government. The 2000 Census indicates that 73% of U.S. poor own automobiles, 76% have air conditioning, 97% own refrigerators, 62% have cable or satellite TV, and 73% have microwaves. There are many homeless and malnourished individuals in the United States, but the poverty thresholds are high enough to include many individuals who live with some modern comforts.

    Instead of being homeless, almost half (46%) own their own homes with most of the rest renting their homes. On average a poor person in this country lives in a home with 1,228 square feet (114.1 m2) which they often own, and as noted the home is likely air conditioned, with a refrigerator, cable or satellite TV, a microwave not to mention many other comforts.[47]

    Cox and Alm[48] conclude that if the American poor formed a country of their own, they would be as well-off or even slightly better-off than the typical family in most European countries. However that conclusion ignores the relative nature of poverty and income inequality – not being able to afford the same opportunities as most people in one’s society.

  • Neo Displacer

    These numbers do not pass the smell test. 18-1/2% of SF is not in poverty. It’s hard to believe what amounts to a food bank press release. It also doesn’t help the discussion either. Phony numbers lead to phony solutions.

    from wikipedia:

    Overstating poverty
    When you hear that someone is “poor,” it brings to mind images of a person who may be homeless and malnourished. Fortunately, however, that description is not reflective of the majority of individuals labeled as poor by the federal government. The 2000 Census indicates that 73% of U.S. poor own automobiles, 76% have air conditioning, 97% own refrigerators, 62% have cable or satellite TV, and 73% have microwaves. There are many homeless and malnourished individuals in the United States, but the poverty thresholds are high enough to include many individuals who live with some modern comforts.

    Instead of being homeless, almost half (46%) own their own homes with most of the rest renting their homes. On average a poor person in this country lives in a home with 1,228 square feet (114.1 m2) which they often own, and as noted the home is likely air conditioned, with a refrigerator, cable or satellite TV, a microwave not to mention many other comforts.[47]

    Cox and Alm[48] conclude that if the American poor formed a country of their own, they would be as well-off or even slightly better-off than the typical family in most European countries. However that conclusion ignores the relative nature of poverty and income inequality – not being able to afford the same opportunities as most people in one’s society.

  • sffoodbank

    Thanks for the coverage! Just one amendment: 150,000 San Franciscans do not live in poverty, but rather live at 150% of the federal poverty level. That is an income level that is indicative of food insecurity, and amounts to $27,465 for a family of three nationwide. It may sound unbelievable given the great affluence in our city, but don’t take our word for it. Here are the figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau: http://bit.ly/bKXTav

  • sffoodbank

    Thanks for the coverage! Just one amendment: 150,000 San Franciscans do not live in poverty, but rather live at 150% of the federal poverty level. That is an income level that is indicative of food insecurity, and amounts to $27,465 for a family of three nationwide. It may sound unbelievable given the great affluence in our city, but don’t take our word for it. Here are the figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau: http://bit.ly/bKXTav