As the holiday season approaches, more Americans have become more dependent on local food banks due to the soaring prices at the grocery store, causing the banks to run low on supplies.
As the cost of food continues to climb, local food pantries are getting hit with both rising costs and rising demand ahead of the holiday season. https://t.co/qvl5Mnr0y3
— KYW Newsradio – NOW ON 103.9 FM! (@KYWNewsradio) November 21, 2023
Due to the increased number of visitors at food banks nationwide, many struggle to keep their shelves stocked.
Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, President and CEO Christopher Tan said that his shelves are nearly empty due to the high demand for food.
“Breakfast cereal, pasta, pasta sauce. These are things that are the staples of almost every food bank, right?” said Tan. “It’s very difficult to find.”
Many food banks rely heavily on donations to keep up with their growing visitors. Tan reported that he buys food at inflated prices and that his fuel budget has doubled, all while he competes with companies such as Amazon for drivers.
In support of the Mayflower Marathon, we donated two truckloads of protein to the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. At Smithfield, we are proud to put food on tables across the country, especially during the holiday season. pic.twitter.com/UK4F5hU1qu
— Smithfield Foods (@SmithfieldFoods) November 20, 2023
Jackie DeCarlo, chief executive of Manna Food Center reported seeing an unprecedented need for food.
Last month, the center reported providing food to 5,781 families, surpassing its monthly high during the pandemic.
Food banks nationwide are dipping into emergency reserves, switching to more cost-efficient products, limiting how often people can visit or how much food they can get.
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research polling showed that about 75 percent of respondents said Biden’s economy is “poor,” while two-thirds said expenses spiked.
The rising food costs have many Americans rethink where they shop to get their food, with some relying on food banks for the first time.
“Some are ashamed of being in the situation,” said Mike Manning, president and CEO of the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, noting hesitancy among clients to be interviewed by his group or appear in news stories. “They don’t want friends to know.”
Organizations around the country are chipping in to help restock food banks for families in need, especially for the holidays, showing that communities can come together during difficult times.