Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma feeling impact of inflation, supply chain issues

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – You’ve likely felt the impact of supply chain issues as well as inflation at the grocery store – and the same goes for most food banks.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is feeling this pinch as they head into their busiest months – trying to provide for Oklahomans.

From the road to the warehouse – supply chain issues are impacting us all.

“There’s not enough drivers for the supply trucks,” said Cathy Nestlen with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “There’s not enough warehouse workers to help move product and get it out.”

Nestlen says they’re not experiencing or expecting a food shortage.

She does say, though, getting food hasn’t been easy or cheap.

“Once we’re securing it, as well, we’re seeing a really long delay – up to eight weeks at times,” she said. “In addition to that, we’re paying double, if not triple in freight costs.”

In the early days of this pandemic, we saw long lines of Oklahomans and Americans across the country to receive help from food banks.

While Nestlen says that has slowed, the need – which is a constant in our state – grows in the winter months.

“It’s concerning because Oklahoma is the fifth hungriest state in the nation,” said Nestlen. “So we’re just buckling down and making sure that we continue to be efficient.”

So how can you help ensure your fellow Oklahomans can feed themselves and their families?

Nestlen says financial and food donations – particularly canned vegetables – are always welcome.

If you don’t have the cash to give – she says you can always give the gift of time – as a volunteer.

“That helps save us labor costs,” said Nestlen. “So you can come out and sort and pack food and guarantee, you’ll have a good time doing it as well.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told CNBC she expects inflation to dissipate, though she says it’s lasted longer than expected.

If you’d like more information on how to help or receive help from the food bank, go to RFBO.org.

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