Missourians who rely on food from about 1500 food pantries and similar agencies are going to be pinched by this summer’s drought. Some already are.
Six food banks distribute food through those agencies. The head of the state food bank association, Scott Baker, says they’re already noticing a reduction in donations, especially in excess produce, such as tomatoes. He says food agencies also are seeing an increased demand for water, especially in rural areas as wells dry up.
Some agricultural researchers are forcasting eight percent price increases in food prices next year because of the effects of the drought. He says those increases will make it harder for people to get the food they need for their families. He expects demand for agency services to continue or to increase.
But food banks will face the same pressures because those prices will go up for them. He says the Missouri’s six food banks bought several million dollars’ worth of food last year because a lot of traditional sources of donated food are drying up and nutrition programs are being cut.