Higher demand, fewer donations: Inflation hitting Central Florida food banks

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida asks for community’s help

The rising prices of everyday goods not only affects families, but the food banks daily operations too.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Federal Reserve unleashed a .75% interest rate hike to tame inflation Wednesday.

U.S. inflation surged to a four-decade high last month, sitting at 9.1%, and it is reflected in rising gas prices, rent and food.

Consumers and businesses are feeling the pinch of high prices, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

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Greg Higgerson, chief development officer at the food bank, said it has been a big challenge, especially for low-income families across the region over the past few months.

The food bank distributes meals to a network of about 500 partners around Central Florida.

Higgerson said the number of people searching for food assistance is up 25% since June.

Pre-pandemic he said their facility distributed enough food for 150,000 meals a day.

Now, they send out at least 250,000 meals a day. Higgerson said inflation is a big factor in the increase.

The rising prices of everyday goods not only affects families, but the food banks’ daily operations too.

“It costs quite a bit to put millions and millions of pounds of food out the door every week and every month,” Higgerson said.

He said there is not a food shortage at this point, but they have not been receiving as many monetary donations. He believes it’s because families are now being challenged financially.

“What we are seeing is some people who donate money are not able to donate as much any longer,” Higgerson said. “We’re really hoping and relying on the community who can still contribute to step up and help us make a difference for people in need.”

He adds they do budget for expenses like filling up their trucks with gas and keeping the distribution center running, but the costs are now higher than they expected.

If you would like to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, head to the group’s website.

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About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.