The 5,000 people who rely on Alameda Food Bank for five days' worth of meals each month fit an ever-expanding profile. They are fixed-income seniors, the underemployed, newly laid off, long- and short-term homeless, parents and children. The working poor are the fastest growing clientele at the food bank, whose client roster has doubled over the last two years, agency directors say. A third of recipients are 18 years old and younger, and most of those are under 12.
Client Edward Hansen supplements his five-day allotment with what his monthly $180 food-stamp subsidy buys and what he forages from Dumpsters at a nearby Walgreens. He camps in a field next to the food bank, near land that was home to a Jiffy peanut butter factory.