The LA Times reported today on Southern California’s food pantries. Demand in Los Angeles and Orange County has gone up 70 percent since 2008. Between LA and OC, the food banks are reaching more than half a million people. The LA Regional Food Bank alone is serving something like 1.25 million pounds of food a week. They’ve received increased contributions in that time from the USDA and FEMA, quite a change from the shameful 50 percent cuts the USDA made to food bank aid in the mid-2000s during the Bush administration, but that’s being considered emergency funds, not standard support. Ripe for cutting the moment Obama decides to try and look flexible with the Republican House leaders once again.
And thanks to the repeated budget cuts to domestic federal spending while military spending and bank bailouts continue to be preserved, even that emergency aid is now down considerably from last fall. But the demand isn’t.
The shortfall has to be made up in private contributions. But a lot of the shortfall is just that–shortfall.