I spoke at the press conference today, saying, in part...
"About one-half of the people who need help with food are not eligible for any federal food aid, like SNAP or free school meals, usually because the head of household is working. Although the family’s income may put them over the guidelines for food programs, it does not provide for an adequate living. A family like this ends up squeezing their grocery budget because that’s the only flexible thing in the budget. And, hopefully, they turn to the local food pantry before they let their children go hungry.
"Chances are, that working head of household has a car, in order to get back and forth to work. More money on gas will mean even less money for food, resulting in more trips to the local food pantry for help.
"Foodshare provides food to those local food pantries – over 12 million pounds of food last year, or a tractor-trailer load of food every single day!
"But how does that food get from food company donor to local food pantry? On trucks, of course. Trucks that require fuel to run. With the rising cost of fuel for those trucks, it is more and more challenging for Foodshare to afford to get the food from where it is to where it’s needed. Diesel fuel costs about $1.00 more per gallon right now than it did when we made our budget for the year, and as a result, Foodshare has spent about $5,700 more on fuel in just the first two months of the year, than what we had budgeted for!
"This feels like the perfect storm. More people need food because of rising gas prices. And Foodshare is challenged in getting more food to people who need it because of those same rising fuel prices."