Food banks face skyrocketing food and shipping costs
CLEVELAND – Twice a week, for the past two and a half decades, Chuck Schmook has dedicated his time packing and distributing boxes of food with the Parma Hunger Center.
“I’ve been doing this since I retired 26 years ago,” Schmook said.
But you can ask virtually any food bank, 2020 has made a difference.
“We pack everything,” Schmook said. “They call me home and I give them a time slot to come. We only schedule that many cars every 15 minutes. “
Demand for food banks has skyrocketed from 2019, and the cost of purchasing food goes hand in hand.
“The need is still much greater than before the pandemic. We are doing weekly distributions in the city of Cleveland Municipal Lot, these are continuing,” said Jessica Morgan of the Greater Cleveland Foodbank. “This is something that we started at the start of the pandemic and it is now continuing 19 months later.”
Morgan said food costs jumped more than 20% and freight prices jumped 30-40% due to the driver shortage.
There’s a pricing issue with fuel and even shipping labels and cans, and that skyrocketing price is trickling down to food banks.
“We ship products all over the country,” Morgan said. “We try to do this locally in season when we can, but you know Ohio is not favorable for weather all year round. So when we source fresh produce like fresh produce, we may need to get a load from Florida during the off months and we pay to have that product shipped to us. “
Morgan said on Thursday that 1,700 people had come to their distribution at the Muni Lot.
While these high prices complicate things a bit for the food bank, it’s donations from the public that keep it afloat.
Donations also help them support smaller partners, like Schmook and his team.
“We have also been able to provide the equipment they need, such as freezers, refrigerators, tables and chairs for drive-thru distributions. “
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, as well as alerts on top news, latest weather forecasts, traffic information and much more. Download now to your Apple device here, and your Android device here.
You can also watch News 5 Cleveland on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu Live and more. We are also on Amazon Alexa devices. Learn more about our streaming options here.