EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) – With inflation affecting the entire country, food prices are skyrocketing everywhere, including here in El Paso. The price hikes pose several challenges for the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger food bank.
Food bank CEO Susan Goodell said there had been a significant increase in the number of people in need.
“We are seeing an increase of about 7% (across the region),” she said. “So what that means just here, in this place alone, is seeing about 700 more families a week.
Families are also making more frequent visits to their locations.
With food prices rising, Goodell said the biggest challenge for the food bank right now is keeping track of the food supply and having the financial resources to access that food. She said it was difficult to get enough non-perishable food, fresh produce and fresh dairy products.
“The supply chain is again frankly broken and it’s causing us real distress and preventing us from finding adequate food,” Goodell said. “We want to make sure our customers’ plate is balanced so that we have a variety of foods that provide the nutrition they need to stay healthy and strong.”
The cost of shipping to the food bank has also increased drastically.
Fortunately, this hasn’t affected how much food they can give, but if these issues persist, Goodell said it could.
“We have lost about 25% of the food reserves that we normally keep on hand since Christmas,” she said. “So with this reduction, we are below a three week food supply margin. If we are not able to make up that difference and achieve at least a four week supply, we will have to reduce the amount of food given to each customer.”
The food bank also desperately needs volunteers.
If you would like to volunteer or donate to the food bank, click here.