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New statewide initiative aimed at ending hunger crisis in California

The California Association of Food Banks said almost a third of Black Californians and more than a third of Latino families are food insecure

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The head of the California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) said it’s time to sound the alarm because California is in the middle of a hunger crisis.

A new statewide initiative launched Tuesday called 'Everyone to the Table.' It's a public engagement campaign that will give everyone an opportunity to become a part of the solution. 

CAFB said one in five California households experience food insecurities. 

“Early this summer, a staggering 8 million Californians didn’t know where their next meal would come from," said executive director Stacia Levenfeld. 

Zooming in from the state level, some cities are even worse.

“In San Diego, one in three people experience food insecurity," said Vanessa Ruiz with the Jacobs Cushman Food Bank. "That's over a million people."

Hunger does not affect everyone equally. CAFB reports almost a third of Black Californians and more than a third of Latino families are food insecure. 

Inside a room called 'Out of the Box' in the Trinity Presbyterian Church in West Sacramento, their mission is to fill as many of them as possible. The church does a monthly food drive. 

"We've been giving out food for at least 10 years," volunteer Jesse Schlunegger said. "There might be a time where we clear out this entire pantry and if that’s the case, you know, worst case I will run to Raley's myself." 

"We've been operating here for a while, so we definitely see the need. But to see it so prevalent is still a bit surprising," Schlunegger said, referring to the increased rate of hunger during the pandemic. 

Get ready to see and hear more advertisements from the initiative. One of the goals is to keep hunger at the top of policymakers’ minds to encourage meaningful and economic changes. 

You can head to the initiative's website to find out more on how you can help out, including donating to your local food bank.

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