SAN FRANCISCO — Oakland is experiencing a major crisis with grocery stores that have been shuttered in the city for the past five years.
For many residents, the loss of groceries is a major factor in their daily lives, and the Oakland Police Department says there are nearly 500 reported thefts a day.
In the last five years, Oakland’s grocery stores have closed in more than 400 locations.
The loss of food has a cascading effect on neighborhoods, said Sgt. Jason Farrow of the Oakland police.
“People are forced to walk into grocery stores, go to the store and get groceries for themselves,” he said.
It also means people can’t go to their jobs or get groceries to keep the lights on and the sidewalks safe.
According to the Police Department, thefts are a big factor in the number of robberies, aggravated assaults and property damage.
Oaklands mayor Libby Schaaf says the city is working to find solutions to the food insecurity problem.
Schaaf says she wants to encourage residents to have healthy food options in their communities.
And she wants more people to donate food and to donate to the local food bank.