Shelves are emptier than usual at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Tallahassee because food bank donations are down statewide and locally.
Denise Griewisch, Second Harvest Director, said, "We're not a large metropolitan area, so a lot of those big reclamation centers that large corporate retailers have to distribute their food to, we don't really have one here for us."
Second Harvest has seen a dramatic decline in donations for the months of July through September. Donations are down nearly 50 percent. The head of a local agency that funnels food to struggling families is upset.
Glenn Simmions, Director of the Big Bend Center for Human Services, said, "It has affected us tremendously. We really don't like to say no to people who are in dire straights, who are in need of food.”
One reason for the lack of food donations could be that some supermarkets are no longer donating perishable goods to food banks. Employees of Second Harvest say it is unfortunate since they have two refrigerator trucks equipped to handle perishable foods.
Griewisch said, "I don't really recall any of our recipients who receive our perishable food ever having an issue with the food that's donated through our organization."
Griewisch hopes food drives will help increase donations this holiday season, putting more food on the table for those in need.
Second Harvest helps feed nearly 300,000 people every year in the Big Bend. If you would like to donate you can drop off food items at Second Harvest Monday through Friday.