October 24, 2014

Food banks facing heavy holiday demand (AUDIO)

Missouri’s food banks are doing a lot of giving at this time of year. But they also have their own list of gifts they’d like to get.

Missouri’s six food banks and about 1500 distribution agencies face heavy demand with Thanksgiving and Christmas only a month or so apart. Fortunately, donors remember food banks during the holidays, says state director Scott Baker, and about forty percent of the annual giving to food banks happens during these days.

But he says food banks have a lot of people asking for help. Demand has not decreased despite indications that the economy is getting better and more people are returning to work.He says many of those people are taking jobs that don’t pay as well as their former jobs, making it harder for families to make ends meet while costs of groceries, utilities, and transportation continue to increase or stay up.

He says it’s not a case of more people asking for help for the first time. Instead it’s a case of people needing help for longer periods of time–six months or more, a situation underlined by a recent USDA report that ranked Missouri fifth in the nation in the number of people facing food insecurity every day.

Baker says food donations are up at this time. But money also is important because that food has to be transported to agencies throughout Misosuri, and those costs continue to rise.

AUDIO: Baker interview 11:45