YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)- Second Harvest Food Bank is being affected by supply chain issues and inflation.
There has been 11% increase in the last month and 30% in the last five months of people calling looking for food. However, supply is down as well.
WKBN called Second Harvest Food Bank and talked to their executive director Mike Iberis to see how they’ve been affected.
He told WKBN they’ve received an increase in phone calls. There’s lot of reason for this, one is that kids are home for the summer.
“Over the last five months we’ve seen a 30% increase. Our donations are down approximately 35% and that’s something that’s not unique to food bank here in the Mahoning Valley, second harvest of the Mahoning Valley, but our colleagues throughout the state and our colleagues throughout the nation that are feeding American food banks,” said Iberis.
Some receive free meals at school, but now parents need to provide that meals, so some call Second Harvest. Overall, Iberis said food pantries they work with have seen an 35% increase in people coming to see them. They specifically have seen an 11% increase in the just the last month.
It’s for multiple reasons, many of which we’ve reported on in the past. People’s budgets are being spread thin. Over the past two days gas and diesel has hit $5 and above.
Food is also more expensive. For Second Harvest, donations have taken a bit of a hit and supply chain issues have also made things more difficult
Donations have been down as well but many companies, and organizations like the Girl Scouts have stepped up and helped them out. The Girl Scouts actually brought in around 1,000 pounds of food for them a couple weeks ago.
“Our transportation costs are up about 40%. so when we do get a donation, we can expect to see that the cost of that transportation to get at here is up about 40 40% over where was last year at this time, so that’s significant for us because now our costs are going up if we’re paying for that trucking to bring it here,” Iberis said.
And it’s more expensive to ship. As diesel goes up it costs a lot more to ship products that come from across the country. Like Iberis said it’s not as simple as just saying it’s one thing causing this, everything is connected.
Even work force shortages are affecting it. Iberis also said there’s less food out there to get as well. Plus kids are on break so families have to provide meals that the schools also were provided during the school year. As Iberis mentioned earlier they’re down about a third in product so if you’d like to help he said they can use food and funds.