Grocery prices impacting services trying to help those in need

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:35 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Current prices may have you and your family re-thinking some purchases at the grocery store. But for nonprofits looking to help families put food on their tables, their work isn’t slowing down, even though they too are battling higher costs for goods.

Last year, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia provided over 28 million pounds of food to families in their coverage area. And the nonprofit is working to continue to meet that need, even though they’re up against the same food costs as the families they’re trying to help.

“Our milk cost has more than doubled. And we’re doing around 4,200 meals a day to children through our Kids Cafe program. And with that doubling, that means every meal is going up about 30 to 40 cents just in the meal cost,” America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia executive director Mary Jane Crouch said.

And the price for the food America’s Second Harvest is able to buy by the truckload has also gone up substantially over the past two years.

“Pre-pandemic, probably would’ve cost us in the $50,000 to $55,000 range. And this year, it cost us $75,000. So that dollar is not going as far as it used to go. And we do the food for about 5,000 backpacks every week, and this food is good for our backpack program,” Crouch said.

Crouch says her organization is hoping for some help from the feds in the way of reimbursement dollars to help soften the blow to their limited funds. In the meantime, they’re finding ways to tweak their own operations to make sure they’re still able to meet the need.

“Hopefully, this latest surge ends, we will see things get back more on a normal level for parents and families or people that are working. And I just hope that transportation fuel costs come down, because that is the next big impact to our community I feel like,” Crouch said.

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