Charities feel impact of high food costs as holidays approach

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – If you’re going to the grocery store to pick up items for a Thanksgiving feast you are probably having to dig a little deeper into your wallet. Some industry leaders said this could be the most expensive Thanksgiving meal ever. Charities are feeling the pinch too.

“We have the same sticker shock as anyone who goes to the grocery store right now,” said Amy Wolfe at Manna Meal. The team at Manna Meal feeds the community every day but it is costing the charity much more thanks to the price of food. Supply issues have created a problem too.

“It is across the board with supply chains from food supplies to just running the kitchen. To go containers, all of the disposable cups and bowls and cutlery and paper towels I mean you name it we are having trouble getting it. And you are paying at least 30% more for it,” Wolfe said.

The need is also up as people living paycheck to paycheck struggle under the pressure of rising food costs.

“They call you and say, ‘I’ve never been here before, but because of the prices, this is where I am,’ and meat has gone up almost 40% to 45% so people are making the best of what they have and trying to stretch it.”

Manna Meal is having to stretch the budget also to buy items for their food pantry because of increasing demand.

On the day before Thanksgiving, the Food SHACK will be providing holiday meals to children in the community whose families may not be able to afford to prepare traditional dinners.

“Quite frankly I don’t think these children would have a warm hot nutritional Thanksgiving meal if it wasn’t for the Underprivileged Children Foundation and the Food SHACK,” said Jim Strawn, with the group.

Food SHACK leaders said they are thankful for community partners who are making it possible even with the increased costs.

“To be honest with you I don’t think we would be able to supply the meals and the food that we are,” Strawn said. “It would be cost-prohibitive for us like everything else.”

Leaders at Manna Meal said they are preparing for the high food costs to continue in the months ahead.

“I honestly think that the economic effects, we are just now starting to see the tip of the iceberg in this area,” Wolfe said. “It really concerns me for what our neighbors are going to experience.”

Manna Meal is looking for donations to beef up their food pantry. They specifically need canned foods with pull tabs.

This year, like last year, Manna Meal will be absorbing the in-person portion of Charleston’s annual Frank Veltri dinner. Another team of volunteers will be delivering meals to people in need throughout the community.

If your children are typically served by the Food SHACK and they want to receive a warm Thanksgiving meal Wednesday, November 24 the approximate schedule will be the following:

  • South Moor Apts 12:00
  • Dutch Hollow Apts 12:30
  • Orchard Manor 1:30
  • Little Page Apts 2:00
  • Oakwood Terrace 3:00
  • Leslie Road (Oakwood) 3:15
  • South Park Village 3:30
  • Parkland Terrace 4:15

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