KY Food Bank Demand Rises Amid Inflation, Fuel Costs
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Food banks are struggling to keep up operations as they contend with rising fuel costs, inflation and an uptick in demand driven by the end of pandemic-era food assistance.
Supply-chain issues have tightened the flow of donations at God's Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, said chief executive Mike Halligan, and getting a variety of food products has been a challenge. He said expiration of the Commonwealth's Emergency Health Declaration in the pandemic has stopped supplemental SNAP benefits to households already pinched by cost-of-living increases.
"So their economic impacts are tighter," he said, "and they have to cope with the inflation and the tightening supply chain when they have less benefits to spend."
Nationwide, federal figures show, food insecurity is on the rise, especially among children. In 2020, more than 6 million kids experienced hunger. Kentucky families who need help can text the word "FOOD" or "COMIDA" to 304-304 to find a nearby site to pick up free meals. The food sites are operated by No Kid Hungry Kentucky and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's summer meals program.
Halligan said the cost for fuel for Food Bank trucks to deliver food to communities across central and eastern Kentucky also has risen significantly.
"Our fuel costs are increasing 15.2%, to almost a quarter of a million dollars," he said. "That's up $32,000 from what it was a year ago."
Along with donations, Halligan said food banks are seeking volunteers to help with food distribution during the summer months.
"It's because those with families who are not in school over the summer don't have access to the National School Lunch Program," he said, "and so the food bill for households with kids goes up in the summertime."
Federally funded child nutrition COVID-19 waivers are set to expire on June 30. Most Americans say they support expanding SNAP benefits permanently, according to a survey earlier this year by the Purdue University Center for Food Demand.
No Kid Hungry Kentucky Share Our Strength 2022
Consumer food insights Purdue University College of Agriculture 4/2022
Child nutrition COVID-19 waivers U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Nutrition Service 2022
Food bank data 11/2/2020
get more stories like this via email
Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…
Health and Wellness
A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …
The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …
Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …
Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …
A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …
A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…
Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …