Food Prices Up, Food Shelf Donations Down

By KBJR News 1

November 9, 2012 Updated Nov 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM CDT

Hibbing, MN (NNCNow.com) - High food prices are affecting us all, but they're making times especially difficult for local food shelves.

Several shelters are reporting they're low on donations and are worried about getting through the upcoming holiday season.

"They're kind of, not full," said Cindi O'Conner of the bags the Hibbing Food Shelf gives out to those in need, "We put in them what we've got."

What they've got, doesn't seem to be enough. The food shelf is used to seeing 50 to 500 families per week. This week almost 200 have walked through their doors.

"It's getting worse up here, it's getting really bad," said Hibbing Food Shelf Executive Director, Carol Voss, of the need for help.

Voss has spent 17 years working at the Food Shelf. She says that need is high this year. Unfortunately, food prices are too.

"Pounds of food is costing us about $5,000 to pay for. Last year, or the year before, it only cost us $3,000," said Voss.

The problem with high food prices is two–fold, not only does it make it harder for the food shelf to stretch the dollars that they do have, but it also makes it more difficult for people wanting to donate.

"Donations are way, way down," said Voss.

The Salvation Army is in need of donations too. They lost a grant, putting them down $20,000 this year. They too are seeing more families in need of help.

"We see on average 25 to 30 families a day," said Nancy Massich.

Voss has faith that people will come through with donations and that no one will have to go hungry.

"The only way I'm going to close down this food shelf is if everybody has food on their table and they won't go hungry," she said.

The Salvation Army says they're especially low on meat this year.

The Food Shelf says that while anything is appreciated, it's best to give money.

If you'd like to help, contact the respective agencies:

Hibbing Salvation Army: (218) 263-5096

Hibbing Food Shelf: (218) 262-1729

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.