It’s no secret that there’s a gulf between the Bay Area’s wealthy residents and not-so-wealthy residents, and the imbalance shows itself in a number of ways: the soaring rates of evictions, your favorite restaurants closing, and the city’s increasing homogenization. Another side effect? Food insecurity.
Loaves & Fishes, which offers hot meals to those in need, call themselves a “Soup Kitchen 2.0.” In recent years, the organization dramatically increased their reach in Santa Clara County by teaming up with like-minded organizations–like a partnership that allowed them to use an industrial kitchen, rent-free. Thanks to that collaboration, they’re now able to serve 30,000 meals a month.
San Jose has been working to revitalize the park, and officials say the clandestine food distributions are ultimately not good for the park, the neighborhood or the homeless.
"The goal is to send people at the park to other meal distributions such as the Salvation Army, Martha’s Kitchen or Loaves and Fishes. And to nonprofits such as HomeFirst or LifeMoves that come with referrals to other services.
“The feedings do encourage isolation instead of breaking that chain,” said Jennifer Chen, director of Loaves and Fishes. “It’s also not the most efficient way to help people. It might be better for people to donate to an organization that already does food distribution rather than going out there and buying food on their own.”