Last year, California witnessed some of the most devastating wildfires in its history. More than 4 million acres of land burned, 31 people lost their lives, and thousands of homes and businesses across the state were destroyed.
Climate change has seen summer temperatures soar in recent years — catalysing the damage of these wildfires and putting many Californians at financial risk.
Doubling down on these horrific conditions, the pandemic has crippled the economy further by forcing the closure of many businesses. As a result, the unemployment rate in California has surged, reaching an all-time high of 16.4% following the initial hit of the pandemic in April of 2020.
While the unemployment rate has reduced slightly, many people are still suffering and struggling to make ends meet. This has caused food insecurity to rise exponentially, with more and more people relying on food banks as their primary source of food.
How the Redwood Empire Food Bank is helping
Based in Santa Rosa, the Redwood Empire Food Bank (REFB) provides hunger-relief to counties across the north coast of California. For more than 30 years, the food bank has sought to provide healthy food and nutritional education to people in need.
Today, the REFB serves 1 in 6 people across Sonoma, Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino, and Lake counties. Following the initial outbreak of the pandemic, the food bank experienced a 400% increase in their uptake — making their work crucial to the communities they serve.
With resources, logistics and operations still feeling the strain, 2021 is not going to be any easier. Despite this, the REFB remains determined to achieve their goal of ending hunger in the community.
How AnswerForce’s customers are helping
In response to the humbling efforts of the REFB, AnswerForce is delighted to become an official grantor as part of our Giving Back program. It is thanks to our loyal and supportive customers that we are able to work with remarkable organizations, including the REFB.
If you would like to find out more about the food bank and how they help tackle hunger, please visit