Inflation hurts local food shelves as demand increases

Because of high prices and inflation, less people are donating to local food shelves like CHUM in Duluth.
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 10:32 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Food banks rely heavily on the community’s generosity, but with inflation and high gas prices, donations have significantly gone down as the number of people needing food is going up.

Americans are facing economic issues that haven’t been seen in decades, which means donation needs are increasing.

CHUM, a non-profit in downtown Duluth, has been seeing a huge uptick in the number of folks needing food, but supplies are dangerously low.

Because of supply chain issues, price increases and the war in Ukraine, a variety of items like bread, peanut butter, and poultry are in low supply at local food shelves.

Distributive Service Director Scott Van Daele explained how they’re losing more food than actually getting it.

“It’s also incredibly hard because if normal grocery stores and normal providers can’t have it or keep it in stock, then how are we supposed to be able to do it?” said Van Daele.

Organizers explained how the supply is so low that on Wednesday, CHUM ran out of their 70 boxes of free food in just one hour, something they haven’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

One Duluth woman, Susan Williams, who has relied on CHUM since COVID-19 started taking its toll said the need for donations is vital.

“The donations are very essential for people to be able to come and get food. People have different problems like mental illness and substance abuse so these donations are crucial,” said Williams.

According to CHUM organizers, in April 2022, they saw an increase of more than 200+ residents needing food.

To help donate, click here.

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