Food Banks, in a Squeeze, Tighten Belts

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Food banks around the country are reporting critical shortages that have forced them to ration supplies, distribute staples usually reserved for disaster relief and in some instances close.

“It’s one of the most demanding years I’ve seen in my 30 years” in the field, said Catherine D’Amato, president and chief executive of the Greater Boston Food Bank, comparing the situation to the recession of the late 1970s.

Experts attributed the shortages to an unusual combination of factors, including rising demand, a sharp drop in federal supplies of excess farm products, and tighter inventory controls that are leaving supermarkets and other retailers with less food to donate.

“We don’t have nearly what people need, and that’s all there is to it,” said Greg Bryant, director of the food pantry in Sheffield, Vt.

“We’re one step from running out,” Mr. Bryant said.

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Filed under: * Culture-Watch

Posted November 30, 2007 at 1:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Hmmm…I wonder why that is. We run a food bank here at my church, and we have had fairly generous donations made the last few months.

November 30, 5:51 pm | [comment link]
2. Anglicanum wrote:

I’m the vice-president for our county food bank and we’re having a horrible time keeping up with demands.  More people every month and not enough to go around.  It’s not that people aren’t giving ... folks around here are very generous.  But we’ve had a great influx of people.  Of course, we also minister in an impoverished area of the country, which doesn’t help.

November 30, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
3. teatime wrote:

Our community food bank recently had a critical shortage of available food, too. I haven’t heard of the status lately; hopefully, the urgent call for donations worked.

November 30, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
4. teatime wrote:

#2—I’m surprised there hasn’t been more of a public outcry about the soaring cost of food. The prices of the basics, such as milk and eggs, are VERY high now. Milk is $4-5 per gallon and eggs have gone from 88 cents per dozen to $1.85. It’s a strain for those of us on a fixed income.

If the prices continue to rise that much, the food pantries are going to see an even greater numbers of people needing help.

November 30, 6:20 pm | [comment link]
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