Local food banks see an increase in visitors due to inflation

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 5:20 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Record inflation is hitting close to home, and more families are turning to food banks for help.

The demand for food banks over the summer rose significantly from last summer. Golden Harvest’s CEO says this can show us where the economy is.

“We’re seeing about a 29 percent increase with the number of people showing up to the soup kitchen, which tells us a little about the economy. Just continuing to serve a hot meal there every single day,” said Amy Breitmann.

Breitman continues to see rising costs play a factor in those not being able to eat. She realizes the role that Golden Harvest serves.

“We all know that affordability is really an issue right now with the cost of rent, food, and gas prices skyrocketing. A lot of families are finding themselves needing our food bank and our partners more than ever,” she said.

Now that school has started, Columbia County says they’re budgeting for the rising costs.

Columbia County School System CFO Alex Casado said: “Inflation has resulted in higher food costs and goods costs. Of course, we budgeted for that accordingly. It hasn’t impacted the quality of the meals that we’re serving or the offerings.”

That’s their plan for the future even if the costs continue to rise.

“We’re going to continue to assess the school nutrition program financially a year during the budget process and see where we stand and make any adjustments needed in the future years,” he said.

Golden Harvest will continue to help those in need with soup kitchens and hold other various back-to-school events, with one of the reasons they’re still able to do what they do.

Breitman said: “We simply couldn’t do what we can without the support of our volunteer program, people that come and serve in our soup kitchen or in our warehouse across the street helping us sort food.”

To donate or volunteer, visit Golden Harvest.

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