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Monetary donations are needed urgently at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank this holiday season partly because of wildfires and power outages earlier in the year, according to the food bank.

One-quarter of the food bank’s annual budget, or $4.2 million, is needed between now and Dec. 31. Donations have been fewer because many people donated to wildfire and power outage victims.

The food bank gives out 48 million pounds of food each year, serving 32,000 families each week.

Paul Ash is the executive director of the food bank. When he was asked how important the food bank is, he said one homebound recipient said of the volunteer who delivers her food:

“I need you in my life.”

SFBay Holiday Gallery
Marlene Sanchez/SFBay Lawrence Mesta, a food bank employee, poses for a portrait at the San Francisco Food Bank with some of the turkeys that will be distributed to hot meal programs in the Bay Area during the holiday season.

He said the woman appreciates the contact with the volunteer as well as the food.

Ash said:

“There’s the dual element.”

He added that sometimes the micro-contacts we have are really important to our psychological well-being.

Food bank spokesperson Pamela Wellner said changes to the federal tax code is also affecting donations, prompting middle class families to donate less.

The tax code now provides less of a tax deduction to middle class families, she said. Those families are often generous because they are closer to the people experiencing problems.

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