OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Inflation has hit the pockets of many Oklahomans, some who have been forced to turn to sources for things like groceries. That has caused a supply scare for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, who is in need of donations due to inflation.
Everyone has seen the increased cost for essential necessities nationwide. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has started serving more families. They’re seeing up to a 50% increase in food assistance. On top of feeding more families, the food bank has struggled with the increased diesel gas prices.
“We are still paying more for diesel than we did a year ago. Well over a dollar more a gallon. And our fleet averages about 1,600 miles a day in our transportation to serve 53 counties in central and western Oklahoma,” said Cathy Nestlen, director of communications and marketing for The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
The food bank has paid up to two to three times more in freight costs.
“When we order food in, it costing us two to three times more than what it was two years ago,” said Nestlen.
The food bank started to see an increase in food assistance back in March.
“We believe that’s probably a result of the federal assistance programs that were rolled out during the pandemic, ending those funds being spent already, and that need still exists,” said Nestlen.
Fortunately, the food bank said they have no food shortage issue, just challenges accessing it.
“We’re seeing different products take a little longer to get once we ordered. Typically, we would order a trailer full of soup and it maybe would take typically two weeks to get here. It’s taking upwards of eight weeks, which is requiring us to be a little bit more proactive in forecasting how we order and get food in,” said Nestlen.
If you’re able to help, the food bank suggests making financial donations, participating in food banks, or volunteering.
“Well, people can do all kinds of things to help. Of course, we remain very efficient even with the increased costs that we’re absorbing. So, for every $1 you donate to us, $0.96 goes towards food assistance. So, we have an overhead of 4% or less,” said Nestlen.
If anyone finds themselves in a situation and needs food assistance, you can go to their website for help.