Food Banks Running Low on Food

May 05, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A weak economy has meant an increase in the unemployed.

The increase in the unemployed has meant more people are looking to food banks and soup kitchens to help feed their family and selves.

Companies and individuals hurt by the economic downturn are donating less money and food to assistance agencies.

A growing number of people in need of food plus lower inventory levels means needy people are being turned away empty handed.

According to a New York Times article, “The Food Bank for New York City, which supplies much of the canned food to city pantries, reports a 7 percent decline in its stocks this year. City Harvest, which redistributes bread and other perishables from restaurants, is reducing its deliveries by one million pounds, or about 5 percent.”

Moderator’s Comment: What should be the response of
the food industry to the problems faced by consumers in feeding themselves?

Firstly, it is a matter of public record that businesses
in every aspect of the food supply chain have been quite generous in supporting
food banks and soup kitchens to feed the neediest among us.

Job losses, the expiration of unemployment benefits,
and the amount of military reservists called to serve, however, has increased
the numbers of those in need of assistance.

Many of these, we’ve been told, may be eligible for government
programs such as WIC without knowing it. Food retailers, even in those operating
in affluent areas, may now have more customers eligible for government assistance
than they realize.

Stores can work with public and private groups and agencies
to find ways to address the challenges of feeding the nation. Never forget “United
We Stand”.

Anderson – Moderator

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