Local food banks feeling inflation pressure – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Hundreds of bags of food donations are unloaded from waiting cars at ACCESS in Medford. [Mail Tribune / file photo]

People want to donate in their hearts, but how much can they afford to share in 2022? Less than usual, according to some local food banks, including ACCESS.

ACCESS reported a 30% drop in donations during its annual holiday drive in December at Greystone Court in East Medford, known for its Christmas lights display. Gracie Solis, marketing and communications supervisor at ACCESS, speculates that inflation is partly to blame.

“I’m not entirely sure, but I’m grateful that people are still coming out and being able to give as much as they can,” Solis said of the decline.

She was referring to the pre-Christmas event, where ACCESS was still able to raise £6,740 of food and $20,809 for the game from Asante.With these donations, ACCESS has provided over 10,000 meals. can.

“I think everyone’s spirits were really high,” Solis said of the Greystone Court drive. “We had so many visitors, so many smiles, and so much fun. It really made us feel good about our work and what we do.”

Ashland Emergency Food Bank faces unique challenges.

Executive Director Amy Broker said one-third of her food bank’s merchandise comes from the Ashland Food Project’s Green Bag program, which picks up six times a year. and the Ashland Emergency Food Bank receives 25,000 pounds of food each time, she estimates.

‘Food Angels’ deliver goods from local grocers, as well as emergency food banks.

Additionally, Ashland Emergency Food Bank personnel have a unique initiative to collect groceries from grocery stores and use them for the bank. That method is a big driving force for food banks.

“We have moved from an organization that distributes nearly all of the food donated to one that now purchases at least a third of the food it distributes. $15,000 to $20,000 worth of food per month. We can say that,” says Broeker.

While it’s difficult to track the amount of donations as agencies migrate to new software systems, Broker said he was certain that donations had declined since the pandemic. Partly because the Green Bag program has delayed community outreach due to COVID-19.

“It’s not that people aren’t on board. I think it had more to do with the situation,” Broker said.

She believes the Ashland Emergency Food Bank has seen a 15% drop in pick-up donations in December. did.

“Food is much more expensive,” says Broeker.

Broeker says: So economic, food inflation is very real to us. “

But she pointed out that it’s also realistic for people visiting the Ashland Emergency Food Bank.

“This means a lot more people are showing up at our door for the first time,” says Broeker.

She hopes 2023 will be better.

“We see a lot of participation in terms of people supporting us,” says Broeker. “People are as generous as they can be. It gives you a great deal of faith in human nature.”

One of the ACCESS food pantries in Talent reported food donations during the drive in December. rice field.

This is thanks to the Talent Food Project, one of the Neighborhood Food Projects set up to collect food in local cities on the second Saturday of every even month.

Tammy Wilder, manager of the Talent Food Pantry, said of the December collection, “It was a bad weather day, so we expected very little attendance.” It turns out there is, and I don’t know what caused it other than pure December generosity.”

Wilder has seen many people not affiliated with the Neighborhood Food Project bring food back to the Talent Food Pantry. She appreciates these donations because there are so many people in need of food.

“They’re getting to the point where they really need free food, like a year ago, because what they’re making isn’t making a living,” Wilder said. What it has to do is maddening to people.”

She tells those people they are “not alone.”

Please contact reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.

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