Throughout much of this past year, we’ve all felt the impacts of inflation. It has created a burden for children, older adults and families like we haven’t seen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated inflation to be at its highest point in decades. The struggle is compounded for our neighbors who were already living paycheck to paycheck. Many are finding themselves in need of food assistance for the first time.
In addition, inflation has created a hardship for the Great Plains Food Bank. Just how much? We announced earlier this year that due to supply chain challenges, workforce issues, and increased prices, the available food donations from our food industry partners are at their lowest point since 2018 when we were serving 30,000 fewer individuals than we are today. That, combined with increased costs for fuel and other transportation expenses, has led us to forecast distributing 1 million fewer pounds of food to our neighbors facing hunger this fiscal year. This is at a time when hunger impacts one in six individuals living in North Dakota.
But the Great Plains Food Bank is committed to walking alongside our neighbors as long as there is a need, and we are ready to meet this challenge head on. To fill the gap in food donations, we have budgeted $2.2 million to purchase food this year — twice the amount as last year and more than we’ve ever spent in our 39-year history. This is in addition to our commitment to be innovative and find new food sources to keep our shelves stocked as best we can.
Now more than ever, your gifts to the Great Plains Food Bank are needed and will make a tremendous impact as we work to end hunger together and close the million pound gap.
Please visit GreatPlainsFoodBank.org to learn how you can help end hunger today, tomorrow and for good.