Not only is the general public being hit hard by the rising cost of goods, but local food banks are feeling the impact as well. Now more than ever, during the holiday season, donations are needed.
“Inflation has hit the food bank on both ends of our operation, on the receiving end and on the distribution end,” said Jean Toth, Director of Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana.
The Food Bank of Northeast Louisiana has seen increased demand for food since the pandemic started and during the holidays the need rises.
However, it is more difficult to supply the food they need and grant money doesn’t stretch as far as it once did.
“For seniors who are living on low fixed incomes are really feeling the pinch. You know when the expenses are going up, but your income is staying the same, it’s really stressful to figure out how to make that work,” said Toth.
In addition, the food bank of NELA is also paying higher prices for its backpack program, where food is given to school children for the weekend.
“For our backpack program those costs have just really increased, we are spending about 20% more than we were two years ago,” said Toth.
On the supply side, the food bank is seeing a longer wait time for food.
“We don’t have the choice we used to have when we order food and it takes twice as long to get the food to the food bank once we order it,” said Toth.
Because of this they need donations now more than ever. They must also plan ahead to make sure people stay fed.
“We look at national trends, we talk to other food banks and we always look high and low for opportunities,” said Toth.
Toth also said they look at national trends, trying to stay ahead of the curve to help the people in Northeast Louisiana who need it the most.
“During this time when we are in a recession, we are just coming out of COVID, people are still not able to work so it’s hard to put food on the table so having this food here to help feed people in our community, it’s just a wonderful resource that we have,” said Jon Baccarini, Food Bank of NELA Volunteer.
For more details on how to donate, head to Foodbanknela.org.