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Surging food prices, supply chain issues impact local food banks

Bare shelves, prices going up

Local food banks say they’re also feeling the squeeze, as demand is as high as ever.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Surging food prices and supply chain issues are affecting everything from grocery stores to people’s wallets.

Local food banks say they’re also feeling the squeeze, as demand is as high as ever.

Feeding Northeast Florida told News4Jax it’s struggling.

“We look and operate like a normal business but there’s no customer that can absorb that increase cost, so it’s challenging,” Susan King, with Feeding Northeast Florida, said.

To make matters worse, Feeding Northeast Florida and Jewish Family and Community Services said the demand has grown.

“I would definitely say pre-pandemic to now the pandemic our numbers have doubled,” Cameo Maat, with Jewish Family and Community Services, said.

The organization said before the pandemic they served 16 to 20 families on average now, they’re serving 35.

King says in 2019 they distributed 17 million pounds of food. That increased to 31 million in 2020, and they are on track to do 36 million pounds this year.

“The increases in the cost of food, in utilities and everything, 15 dollars an hour cannot support a family,” King said.

King also said the driver shortage and 58% increase in fuel charges aren’t helping.

Both organizations said they are getting through, and everyone who shows up in need of help will get it. But they are also very welcoming of any donations or volunteers the community can spare.

About the Author:

Lauren Verno anchors the 9 a.m. hour of The Morning Show and is the consumer investigative reporter weekday afternoons.