FORT WAYNE. Ind. (WANE) – The ripple effect of the supply chain crisis continues – now it’s disrupting food banks.
“When there is a shortage in the supply chain, it is much more difficult for us to provide food to our customers,” said Linda Hansen, director of the food bank at Wellspring Interfaith Social Services.
Hansen said Wellspring Interfaith Social Services has seen a drop in the amount of donations from retailers and the public.
“Our shelves would normally be a lot fuller right now,” said Hansen. “We usually have several people donating per week and it’s not necessarily a huge amount of food, but it’s just a little extra that helps us do more for the customer and that’s reduced to sometimes we do not receive any donations during the week. “
As the amount of food the bank has to distribute has declined, Hansen said he saw “a lot” of new customers. She said they typically serve around 1,600 clients per month.
Community Harvest Food Bank warehouse supervisor Darlene Walker said they have maintained a constant number of donations and customers but shelf storage has become more difficult.
“A lot of the places we order food say it takes three to four months before we can even get it,” Walker said. “Then we have to rely on volunteers and donations to help fill that gap… if we continue the process we’re in, it’s going to hurt everyone, not having enough truck drivers to get the product. ”
Since Wellspring Interfaith Social Services bought some of its food from Community Harvest, it has started to see the trickle down effect of this problem.
“We are seeing a decrease in product availability,” said Hansen. “The cost is so high at the grocery store, that they are not able to keep things on the shelves because people are buying it while they [the stores] to see her.”
Food bank representatives said that while waiting for the supply chain to return to normal, the biggest way people can help is by donating food. This is especially important during the holidays.
“Not everyone can go out and buy a turkey and all the trimmings and we want to make sure we can provide that to our community,” Walker said. “Everyone deserves a respectable vacation. I couldn’t imagine not being able to get up and have kids and not be able to afford them that dinner.