Central Florida food banks struggle with supply shortages

Food, packaging and truck driver shortages are behind delays, lack of products

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Thanksgiving is just over a week away and food banks across Central Florida are concerned the supply chain issues will affect their ability to give out meals.

CWC Ministries in Volusia County does three food distributions a month. Director Deborah Hamm said recently the organization has had to change up the assortment of food and produce going in each of the boxes.

“We have more and more people asking for meat. We have people that are saying they can’t find food in the stores,” she said.

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The organization gets most of the food for its distributions from Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

“Different fruits — grapes and apples. They’re having problems getting those,” Hamm said.

Food, packaging and truck driver shortages are behind the delays and lack of products.

“It’s been more difficult for us to get the purchased items that we distribute to our partner agencies, things like the ingredients for holiday meals have been tougher to get,” said Greg Higgerson, chief development officer for Second Harvest. “Almost 70,000 people in Central Florida will need help with food assistance the week of Thanksgiving.”

He said they’re substituting some products and dealing with the inflation of prices on meat. Higgerson added Second Harvest also has to hope the food makes it on time.

“Sometimes things that would have gotten here in a week to ten days are now taking three to four weeks,” he said.

Even though some of the traditional items might not be there for thanksgiving, Higgerson said there will be food to fill the need.

“We’re seeing sort of a new normal because pre-pandemic we were distributing enough food for about 150,000 meals a day. Today, still, it is around 250,000 meals a day,” he said.

You can donate to Second Harvest Food Bank here.

CWC Ministries also accepts monetary and non-perishable donations. Their address is 54 S. Ridgewood Ave., Ormond Beach.

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About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.