The news just got worse for local charities. Food banks like Second Harvest may be able to turn a $1 donation into $7 worth of food, but with the economy still struggling, it’s getting harder and harder to get that initial $1 investment. Now Christmas is right around the corner, and people are turning to groups like Second Harvest and Sacred Heart to help them celebrate the holidays. The number of people struggling just shot up too, because Congress has not passed an extension of unemployment benefits.
While the demand for services has shot up 70 percent in the last year alone, that is only the tip of the iceberg, warns Sacred Heart Executive Director Pancho Guevara. Unemployment benefits will end at 26 weeks, instead of 99 weeks now, and more and more people will be turning to them for help just to keep food on the table.
“We expect these lines, which are really far more than we were ever prepared to handle, are going to grow dramatically,” Guevara worries. He doesn’t have enough food. He doesn’t even have enough volunteers to hand out whatever food he can. Right now, he is serving 20,000 people a month, but that could skyrocket if the unemployment extension isn’t worked out by Congress. And that could mean a less than merry Christmas for thousands of San Jose residents this year.
Read More at ABC 7.