East Palo Alto is nestled among some of the wealthiest communities in the country. Neighboring Palo Alto — just 2 miles south — famously incubated notable tech companies over the decades, like Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Google and Palantir. A six-minute drive to the west is Menlo Park, Facebook’s hometown, which has a mean household income of nearly $241,000. Slightly farther west is Atherton, America’s richest town, with an average household income of almost $512,000.
But as Haggins stood on the blacktop before Cesar Chavez Ravenswood Middle School, she said she sees very little of that wealth. Since the pandemic began, she said, demand for free groceries has quadrupled, rising from 600 families a month to 600 needy families a week.
“I don’t see the money,” she said.
“We run out of 200 boxes within about an hour,” said Bruce Nash, the church’s minister. He said he is serving more “professionals” seeking food since the pandemic began, including people who work in information technology, sales, marketing and health care. “The need has grown tremendously over the pandemic,” he said.NBC Silicon Valley’s hunger problems grow during a time of record profits