Food pantries brace for longer lines this holiday season due to inflation

More families are looking for people to lean on so they can get food on the table especially this holiday season.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As inflation puts more of strain on consumer’s pockets, food banks are working to bring a bit of relief.

Skyrocketing prices are hitting food banks like Feed More on both ends. Now it’s spending more on food and donations are dwindling. The pinch will likely be felt even more this holiday season.

“A lot of the income that our families (have) is going towards other things other than food,” Michael Kenny, COO of Feed More, said.

Hundreds of thousands in Central Virginia are now turning to Feed More to stay afloat. But just like families relying on the food bank, Feed More relies on families for donations.

“We haven’t gotten a lot of donations from households, so as a result, that’s translating to us having to purchase more food,” Kenny said.

Boxed mac and cheese, peanut butter, and canned goods are most needed right now. Feed More usually gets most of its donations from local grocery stores, but Kenny said thanks to supply chain issues those drop-offs are also dwindling.

Many of their food pantries are asking for more to keep shelves stocked and families fed.

According to Kenny, rural communities have an even greater need.

“In some cases, there are a lack of grocery stores in the area for them to provide and purchase food,” Kenny said.

He said they are working to expand access to food pantries in those communities.

With Thanksgiving just weeks away, Kenny hopes to see more big donations like this one.

“We’re just fortunate to work for a company that allows us to really give back to our local community,” said Dex Martin, one of the donors.

That one donation will go a long way for neighbors in need.

“By the time we separate everything out, (we’ll feed) at least somewhere (between) 20 to 100 families,” Kenny said as he helped unload a truck full of food.

While monetary and food donations are critical this time of year, Kenny said donating time will help even more.

Find ways to help Feed More here.