Local food banks managing increased demand as prices for necessities continue to soar

Executive directors for local food banks told WAAY 31 demand has gone up and probably will continue to do so with the soaring prices in many industries.

Posted: Oct 25, 2021 7:22 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2021 7:46 PM

Local food banks are preparing to help even more people than they already are as prices go up for food, gas and other necessities.

Executive directors for local food banks told WAAY 31 demand has gone up and will likely to continue do so with the soaring prices in many industries.

“Any time there's increase in that and things that people need, it could affect food prices as well, or if they're spending more money on that, they're not necessarily going to have as much money for food, so we definitely want to be prepared and make sure that we have enough food available," Shirley Schofield of North Alabama Food Bank said.

Schofield said making sure their pantries stay full is a top priority. She said they aren't getting as many donations as usual and having to buy more to keep the food bank pantry stocked. The food bank is being flexible right now since some items are harder to come by, and staying ahead is how they're managing it all.

"This time of year, we always try to make orders for food boxes specifically for the holidays," Schofield said. "We weren't able to get cranberries in them this time, so there's some things like that. We're trying to make sure we're providing food, but it may look a little different this year."

Food distribution centers like Manna House are in a similar situation.

"What we're seeing is families who are working, they have jobs, but as gas prices are going up, as food prices are going up, as the cost for diapers are going up, they just can't quite make it," Fran Fluhler, director for Manna House, said.

Like Schofield, keeping the pantry stocked is Fluhler's top priority. Even though she's having to work a little harder to do so, she wants people to know she'll continue to find a way.

"Buy what we can afford to buy, trying to be strategic in that use of that money, be a good steward of that money — we're still very much aware that we've got a lot of people to take care of," Fluhler said.

Both Fluhler and Schofield said that, despite everything going on, they want the community to know they are not running low on food and will continue to work ahead to make sure that doesn't happen, especially since it doesn't look like the prices for items will be dropping any time soon.

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