Rising cost of food and gas putting a strain on food banks and soup kitchens
Food prices are up 70% and with the cost of gas rising, budgets for places food banks are getting stretched to the limit.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – It’s a double edged sword…the rising cost of food, freight, and gas is hurting the pocket books of local food banks and soup kitchens, but its also hurting the people they serve.
“What we call freight charges, which is the charge for a semi truck to get here to Lincoln, Nebraska, just in the last year, we’ve seen a 220% increase in those charges. So, what used to cost us you know, a few $1,000 to get a truckload of produce here is now thousands of dollars,” Alynn Sampson, the VP of operations and impact at the Food Bank of Lincoln, said.
It’s been a year of major adjustments when it comes to the nonprofits that serve the Lincoln community.
Food prices are up 70% and with the cost of gas rising, budgets for places like the Food Bank of Lincoln and Matt Talbot Kitchen, are getting stretched to the limit.
“We’re trying to assess daily, weekly and monthly sort of what the trends are. We have increased our budget significantly for food supplies 25,000 from the year before, and we’re seeing that that might be the way going forward,” Susanne Blue, Executive Director at Matt Talbot Kitchen, said.
Both places have also seen an increase in the number of people walking through their doors, looking for a helping hand.
With numbers increasing across the board, it’s put their resilience to the test.
“One of our challenges has been the storage of all of that product that comes in, you know, you get the best deals by ordering the most. We’re in the midst of a capital campaign to get us a new facility because our freezer and cooler cannot hold all of the product that we need to get in here,” Sampson said.
Volunteers and fund-raising have been a major focus moving forward to make sure that enough resources can be allocated to the right area.
“That’s why we’re here, we’re here to feed the hungry and homeless. We’ll do everything we can. We’ve been needed more than ever during this uncertain time that we’ve been living in, so we’ll be here, we’ll stretch our resources as best we can,” Blue said.
Both places said a big area many in the community could help with is volunteering. Whether it’s time or resources, any help is appreciated.