When you’re always hungry

EugeneWhat is a poor person and what does poverty look like?

That’s a basic and critical question that hundreds of millions of Americans face today.

More likely than not, your neighbor, brother, aunt and friends are dealing with this issue. Particularly in South Sacramento and Oak Park — “OP” — this issue is common.

Poverty Pic 1OP suffers from increasingly low incomes, making it among the lowest-income neighborhoods in America, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  Moreover, DOL research shows OP has an income lower than 94.5 percent of U.S. neighborhoods.

With 48.5 percent of Oak Park children below the federal poverty line, this neighborhood has a higher rate of childhood poverty than 89.1 percent of U.S. neighborhoods, according to Location Inc., a website that provides comprehensive data on neighborhoods and income.

These numbers expose a crippling crisis.

This year, the Sacramento Food Bank set out to address this crisis, at least during the holiday season.

Poverty Pic 2Sacramento Food Bank gave out over 5,000 turkeys, along with two bags of groceries, to families in need, using over 150 volunteers said Kelly Siefkin, communications director for the Food Bank.

In addition, over 28,644 members of the Oak Park community hosted the 22nd annual “Run to Feed the Hungry,” the Food Bank reported.

This level of participation underscores the epidemic of poverty and the need for community engagement to address this issue. At this point, it’s clear, based on the facts, that government cannot solve this issue.

And to be clear, the government should not. It is incumbent upon non-profit and private organizations working in concert with communities to make a difference in addressing poverty, low income and housing issues.

Hopefully, more attention will be given to Sacramento Food Bank and other organizations working tirelessly to assist people. They make an impact in countless ways.

Coordination of volunteers, low administrative costs and direct services are the primary methods for the Food Bank’s success.

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