Rising food costs hurting Dare to Care food bank

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 9:32 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2021 at 11:30 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With cost inflation and shipping slowdowns affecting businesses and organizations across the country, one regional food bank is facing new issues in fighting food insecurities.

Kentuckiana’s Dare to Care Food Bank said the organization is having to reprioritize what foods they purchase.

The consumer price index shows the cost of most goods has risen 6.2% from this point last year, the largest 12-month jump since 1990.

“It’s the inflation on the shipping and the delays in the shipping that are really impacting the food bank,” Dare to Care Chief Programs Officer Annette Ball said. “Normally we could get something in one to three weeks, now it’s taking four to six weeks, maybe even longer.”

Healthier and fresher items cannot make it to pantry shelves in that time, so Dare to Care is switching to more preserved foods.

Ball said if this continues, more than 150,000 people will lose critical nutrition.

About one in seven people in Kentucky are facing food insecurities and use food pantries.

“Since we are seeing double, sometimes triple the amount that it is costing us to get something here, we are certainly going to have to take a hard look into the second quarter,” Ball said. “And what is our budget going to look like, what can we bring in here and changes to make so that we can pivot when we need to.”

Demand from the food bank is 20 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels and the normal channels for buying food at a lower cost are gone.

Most food banks rely on surplus prices for foods not purchased by retail grocery stores. High demand and low supply mean that Dare to Care has to compete with grocery chains with retail prices.

“A lot of planning takes place, and forecasting of the future, and so we are doing the best we can,” Ball said. “We are so thankful for the help along side of our community.”

To donate to Dare to Care, click or tap here.

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