LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As the pandemic is pushing more families to seek relief from empty cupboards, the Dare to Care food bank is seeing historic demand.
“The need for food assistance that we’re seeing today is higher than it’s ever been in Dare to Care’s 50-year history,” Stan Siegwald, a spokesperson for the organization, said. “We saw an immediate spike in March, and it’s really stayed there.”
Siegwald said demand has grown more dire than during the height of the Great Recession, adding that requests for donations are currently up 20 percent over last year.
Dare to Care is now serving 203,000 food-insecure people in the greater Louisville area.
Siegwald said people can help by donating money or time.
While volunteer opportunities at many nonprofits have decreased because of COVID-19, Dare to Care still needs help as its older volunteer force stays home to avoid the virus.
“It’s kind of this ying and yang,” Siegwald said. “Yes, the numbers we can accommodate, and our partners can accommodate, is down, but also the number of people available to us has shrunk. So, we need all the able-bodied folks that can.”
Siegwald added that he anticipates the need for food assistance will still be great for months to come.
“While food insecurity and hunger pull at our heartstrings and have a deeper impact on our soul during the holidays, it doesn’t know a calendar,” he said.
The federal coronavirus relief bill recently signed into law will help fund some of Dare to Care’s operations.