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Charities Serving More People This Season



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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, November 26, 2012

Unemployment may be down, but the number of people seeking free meals at one Sacramento soup kitchen is up:

Burke:"Unfortunately at loaves and fishes we have continued to see an increase in the number of people coming for meals. 

Joan Burke is with the social service organization that serves daily meals to 600-800 people.  She says demand rose sharply during the recession, then leveled off.  But now, there's an uptick:

Burke:"This fall, we've seen more families coming for instance, to all of our programs for services."

Kelly Siefkin with Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services says her organization's food program is serving 15,000 to 16,000 people a month, compared to 9,000 or 10,000 last year.  She says the Food Bank has expanded its reach with a senior program and 12 distribution centers:

Siefkin:"They are walking or taking the bus or riding the bike to their local church parking lot or community center where we set up a food distribution.  They still receive their five day supply of produce and fresh goods but we've removed the barriers of transportation as well as the hours of operation."

Scott Moak is with 3Fold Communications, which works with nonprofit organizations.  He says other groups are trying new things, too, like creating small businesses to generate jobs for the homeless.  Moak says that helps attract donations that are like investments:

Moak: "Not to say that they're going to get a financial return on a 100 dollar donation or a 1000 dollar donation, but they're seeing an actual connection between the investment that they're making and what it's doing for somebody's life on the other end."

Moak says many organizations have been forced to innovate over the past few years, because they had less public money and fewer donations to work with. 
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