Radford Fairlawn Daily Bread working to meet increased food-insecurity

Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 5:04 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - High inflation rates and gas prices are taking a toll on organizations aimed at fighting food insecurity.

“In 2018, the cost per meal was $2.37 and then in 2019 $3.08, 2020 $23.35, and 2021 is actually $3.89,” Radford Fairlawn Daily Bread Program Director Gretchen Dee said.

She says an increased need for meals is driving up costs.

“At the beginning of the year, we were spending maybe $2,500 each month, and now we’re spending a little upwards of $3000 a month since inflation has happened,” she said.

The food bank is having to work harder to put food on the table.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they were serving around 20,000 meals a year, and this year, we’re on track to serve 35 to 40,000 meals this year, which is a huge jump,” Dee said.

She says food and monetary donations have a huge impact on the success of the food bank.

“The one off donations are really wonderful but the people who are committed to giving monthly that’s really what’s getting us through these really hard times,” Dee said.

Prior to the pandemic the food banks food budget was $5,000 a year.

“Our budget jumped from that $5,000 a year to $40,000 a year so we’re spending closer to what our yearly budget was each month now,” Dee said.

The organization is also facing a need for Meals on Wheels drivers. Dee thinks there’s one main reason people are volunteering.

“I’m sure there’s some people who aren’t reaching out to us to volunteer in that way because of these really exorbitant gas prices,”

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