By Arsenio Toledo
Rampant food inflation and the worsening economic situation are making more people rely on charities and food banks.
One such charity is the annual Good News Outreach (GNO) in Tallahassee, Florida, a faith-based nonprofit that distributes food and other aid to people who meet the group’s criteria, which include low-income families and men recently released from incarceration.
Every year, GNO hosts the Stuff the Truck donation drive to fill the organization’s pantry shelves. Organizers hope to fill an entire U-Haul truck from floor to ceiling with boxes upon boxes of nonperishable food and personal hygiene products.
This annual event began in 2019. Last year, the drive successfully completed the challenge of filling a U-Haul truck. GNO organizers hope the community will once again rise to the occasion.
“Right now we are very depleted at our food pantry,” said GNO Donor Relations Assistant Kimberly Smith. She hopes that people donate different kinds of food so that the food insecure residents of Leon County, Florida “can get more variety for the rest of the summer” and well into the start of the school year.
Number of food insecure Floridians growing due to food inflation
Nearly 68,000 people in Leon County are food insecure, as of late May, including 16,000 children. This number is expected to be higher now due to growing concerns regarding inflation and the weakening of the American economy. (Related: Inflation and Biden economic policies forcing more Americans to turn to food banks.)
Many have turned to organizations like GNO to make sure they get enough nutrition per day.
“Each week the increase in food pantry visitors and voicemail inquiries show and tell us that the need for food is greater now due to economic challenges,” said GNO Executive Director Donald Parks.
Parks added that donation drives like Stuff the Truck could not have come at a better time, especially for particularly needy members of the community like senior citizens and very-food-insecure families.
“It’s hard to get to the stores with low income and low funds. It’s something quick if you need it. It’s there,” said Tamar McCoy, a resident of Frenchtown, a neighborhood in Tallahassee. Frenchtown has a Help Shelf, which provides food for low-income people like her in the community. “It’s a help for the community itself. With people who have to wait for certain days to get their income, you’re more than welcome to come to the shelf.”
Frenchtown is of particular concern for charities like GNO, where over 50 percent of residents are food insecure.
Leon County Director of the Office of Human Services and Community Partnerships Shington Lamy has been busy meeting with business owners, community leaders and residents in particularly food insecure neighborhoods like Frenchtown to discuss ways to lower or outright eliminate food insecurity in their communities.
“We are listening at the moment,” said Lamy. “At the moment we talk through and say, ‘What are the things we know are actionable at the local level?’”
Ideas Lamy’s office has received include extending access to existing food pantries and finding more ways to get fresh and healthy foods to food deserts like Frenchtown.
“Our opportunity now is to figure out how we can bring those options back before the county commission,” said Lamy.
Learn more about the rise in food prices at FoodInflation.news.
Watch “America Under Siege,” a special report by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, about the war to take down America’s food and energy production infrastructure.