Ritter Center maintains the largest food pantry in Marin County. Each year, the agency distributes more than 7,500 bags of groceries to over 1,400 households. The vast majority of food comes via the San Francisco Food Bank. The pantry packs special bags for the homeless consisting of foods that do not need to be cooked and provides homeless clients with military surplus can openers. Due to the weak economy, Ritter Center has experienced a 37% increase in the number of households seeking food assistance from our pantry from just two years ago.
While hunger and starvation are not prevalent issues for the housed in the U.S., the high cost of living in our community forces many households to seek supplementary food assistance. There is nothing more heartbreaking for a parent than having to decide between paying the rent and putting food on the table. Higher food prices due to the rising cost of oil have put further pressure on low-income families. This can prompt parents to purchase less expensive, but also less nutritious foods that can lead to negative outcomes for adults and children alike such as malnutrition, diabetes, and obesity. Ritter Center’s food pantry minimizes these unhealthy outcomes and allows families a little more financial flexibility with their monthly budget.