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meeting challenges head on
Two years ago, when schools and businesses were forced to closed due to the pandemic, Second Harvest Food Bank remained open. Fortunately, there was an outpour of support on a federal, state, and local level. Additional food and nonfood items came in by the truckloads and went out directly to our neighbors.
Today, we face a new challenge. Much of the pandemic support has ended but our service numbers remain over 30% higher prior to the pandemic. We anticipate the number to grow due to federal support and programs coming to an end soon. Not only are we serving more people, but their needs are greater. In the past, people utilized food banks and food pantries to supplement their meals. We now see more people coming to our doors with literally nothing.
Why the increased need? Inflation continues to impact all households but especially those who were already struggling. Imagine receiving $119 in SNAP benefits for the month while surviving on a monthly income of less than $1,000. This amount of benefits may get people through a week, if that. People are relying on emergency resources to provide the majority of their meals.
This is occurring at the same time food banks including Second Harvest are receiving less federal and local donations. Due to supply chain and transportation issues, almost 50 truckloads of food have been canceled; leaving Second Harvest Food Bank with less than two months’ worth of food. Our goal is to always have 3 months of food on hand. There have been times staff comes in concerned that we are low or without frozen protein, which is one of the most requested items from neighbors.
Second Harvest Food Bank is seeking support on a federal, state, and local level. It is going to take funding on all levels to conquer this challenge head on. It is imperative that we find a way to ensure our seniors, children, and families do not go to bed hungry. Every person deserves access to nutritious food at all times. We ask that you help make this happen by donating today.
Tyra L. Jackson
IN THE MEDIA