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‘We’re desperate:’ Local food pantries struggle with supply chain shortages

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As food prices increase due to supply chain shortages, many food pantries are struggling.

Some local nonprofits have seen both a decrease in donations as well as increase in demand.

Rebecca Howard, the food pantry manager at Good News Outreach in Tallahassee said as food and gas prices rise, she’s seeing a lot more people utilize the pantry.

“We are seeing a big uptick,” Howard said. “Gas prices have gone up so much, and food prices have gone up. There is no disposable income. So they’re turning to food pantries.”

Howard sys she went from giving out 280 bags of food in July to 430 in September. She’s still able to give food to anyone who needs it, but it’s a struggle.

“We’ve run out of food to the point that I looked at the shelves and went “Oh my god, we’re desperate.”

Howard now has to purchase food for the pantry rather than relying solely on donations.

One of Good News Outreach’s suppliers is Second Harvest of the Big Bend, which is also dealing with the impact of supply chain issues.

“We’re seeing shortages across the board, delays in delivery time,” CEO Monique Van Pelt said.

Van Pelt said some prices have increased by as much as 10%.

Second Harvest is still distributing the same amount of food--it’s just paying more to acquire it and dealing with longer delivery times, which could mean bad news for the holidays.

“There might be delays in the types of foods we’re able to get in,” Van Pelt said. “We’re hoping that it’s all going to be in by the time Thanksgiving arrives and our winter holidays arrive. But also the cost of those foods have shot up as well.”

As food pantries gear up for the holidays, they’re asking for more donations from the community to ensure they can provide Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for those in need.

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