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Rising food costs putting strain on Food Bank of the Heartland

Posted at 8:19 AM, Oct 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-12 09:19:55-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The vast warehouse of food at the Food Bank of the Heartland doesn’t sit long, with the organization turning over every item with new food around every two weeks.

All that food isn’t cheap.

Especially since food prices are up roughly 12 percent since 2020.

“It’s really a double-edged sword because it’s not just affecting us, it’s affecting thousands of Heartland neighbors who are already struggling with food insecurity and the lingering effects of this pandemic,” said Stephanie Sullivan, Communications & Media Relations Manager at the Food Bank of the Heartland.

On top of that, it’s no secret that fuel prices are rising, up nearly 30 percent from last year.

“In fiscal year 2021 alone, our food bank fleet drove over 300,000 miles and that’s across a 78-thousand square mile area, so it’s affecting us on all levels,” said Sullivan.

Aside from the rising costs, they’re just giving away a lot more food. Before the pandemic, the food bank spent around $80,000 a month on food, it’s now up to nearly $800,000 a month.

“The need is still tremendous, a lot of people think that we’re over the worse of the pandemic and everything must be better and that’s a misconception, that’s not the case,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan says their partners, along with generous donors have helped them sustain the rising costs, but can always use more money and volunteer help.

“Anything and everything helps us right now to meet that need,” said Sullivan.

The Food Bank of the Heartland serves 93 counties in Nebraska and Iowa, you can donate their site here.

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