Area food shelves struggling to meet rising demand

Local food shelves have been hit hard by inflation. At the same time, they are dealing with an increase in demand and a decrease in supplies
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 7:44 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2022 at 7:53 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - High inflation means that businesses and organizations everywhere are finding it more difficult to pay for the resources they need.

Food shelves in particular have been hit hard by the difficult economy, with fewer resources coming in and more hungry people needing their help.

“They’re having to come back after three, four, five years because the prices are going up and they’re just having a lot more difficulty being able to put food on the table,” said Deisy De Leon of the ECHO Food Shelf.

Local food shelves estimated that demand for their food has doubled since the peak of the pandemic and that their intake of food and donations have slowed.

“Year and a half ago we used to get anywhere from five to six hundred pounds of food a day from donations. Through one of our donators here in Waseca. And it’s just dwindled down to less than a hundred pounds,” said Garry Huckfeldt of the Waseca County Food Shelf.

Food shelf directors said that the primary fix is the easing of economic stress, but that volunteers and donations can make an immeasurable difference.

“Our numbers are going up, we still have not regained all of the volunteers that we lost during the pandemic, so things are being done differently. And just being able to go out there and finding the food, right. That’s kind of our main concern. Just being able to find the food that we usually stock our shelves with,” said De Leon

Food shelves are meant to help those in need, but that goal is made even more difficult by a situation that puts these organizations themselves in need.

“And it hurts. And our main goal is for no child to go hungry. They shouldn’t have to go hungry. It’s just getting harder and harder and I just don’t know where we’re going to go to tomorrow, what it’s going to look like. But we’re going to do the best we can,” said Huckfeldt.

For more information on how you can make a difference in your community, you can always reach out to your local food shelf.

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