We all feel the impact of rising prices at the pump and the grocery store. Millions of people have cut back on non-essentials or postponed large purchases. But for some, that’s not an option.
On average, 19.2% of individuals live in poverty in the counties we serve. As a result, most if not all of their income goes to basic necessities like shelter, food, and transportation. Rising prices force tough decisions like whether to fill prescriptions or buy food, pay the water bill or put gas in the car to get to work.
In April, the foodbank served 15% more people across our network. Many of these were new households who struggled during the economic disruptions of Covid-19, then faced the highest inflation rate in the last 40 years. That made an already tricky situation impossible to manage without assistance.
“Gas prices make it hard to balance grocery buying and going to the store, work, and doctor,” says one Southeast Ohio Foodbank customer waiting in line in Perry County for their food assistance box.
The increase in need comes as pandemic funding runs out, leaving fewer resources for the foodbank to source food for those in need. Supply chain issues have also affected retail donations and led to higher costs for food purchases.
“We’re facing challenging times,” says Southeast Ohio Foodbank Director Rose Frech. “But we’re exploring every opportunity to provide for the people in our region. We’re grateful for our financial supporters who can help us meet these challenges head on.” The Southeast Ohio Foodbank serves a ten-county region, including Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton, and Washington. We distribute food through a network of 65 member agencies, also called food pantries, and through on-site and mobile markets. Our programs also address the root causes of hunger and poverty while promoting self-sufficiency. If you would like to support this work, you can make a donation, volunteer your time, or raise awareness by sharing information about our work.