Throughout the epidemic, local food pantries have worked to alleviate hunger in their areas. However, as some of the pandemic benefits that have eased the strain on pantries are set to expire, local food banks are stockpiling up to serve more people.
There will be a spike in the number of people receiving the emergency SNAP and utility moratorium assistance after April 15th.
According to Andy Zoerb, the organizer of Ruby’s Pantry and Denmark Community Cupboard,
“The demand on local pantries has alleviated a little bit as the pandemic has gone on and as more benefits have been released.” “Now we’re seeing that pull again as we’re delivering more food to folks who need it even just within these last couple months.”
Once a month, Ruby’s Pantry and the Denmark Community Cupboard provide food for low-income families in the Denmark School District.
Zoerb claims that food inflation has made it difficult to keep the pantry filled while the food was being collected in anticipation of growing demand once benefits ended.
It is because we don’t get any federal food aid that we have to shop at local grocery stores, Zoerb remarked. “Ground beef is one of the most difficult, and we’re still seeing those costs, or dairy, continue to go haywire.”
According to Paul’s Pantry executive director Craig Robbins, the pantry has already seen an increase in visitors and is preparing for a return to pre-pandemic levels of service. Items with large price tags have been purchased in bulk for the pantry’s stockpiling needs.
An entire semi-load of chicken was just purchased,” Robbins explained. “Products like hamburger we bought six months earlier.”
As the need for food grows, local pantries are relying on the help of their communities through local food drives and contributions.
“We just keep collecting food and working on fundraising,” Zoerb said. “Events like donate BIG Green Bay were a great boost for our services and the numerous initiatives we provide.
Our community has been gracious and has helped us be ready for whatever happens next,” Robbins stated.