Inflation leaves a local pantry to host a food drive for resources

Higher food prices are inflating our grocery bills, but they’re also making it tougher for local food pantries to give to the people coming to them for help.
Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 6:16 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The cost of living is quite inflated these days and as a result groceries, utilities and gas are costing people more.

However, consumers are not the only ones impacted by inflation. In fact, the resources that people rely on in troubling times are struggling a bit too.

And now, one of those places needs our help.

The Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio has been giving out food to those in need for years.

“Your dollar just doesn’t buy as much,” Debbie Lisk told 13abc. Lisk works for Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio and has organized the agency’s first-ever donation drive.

“We serve over 500 individuals a month,” she said. “Not 500 families, 500 individuals, and that number is climbing.”

What’s not climbing, she said, is the amount of help coming to pantries and food banks.

She explained, “During the pandemic, there were a lot more government dollars that were going to the food banks, which is where we get a lot of our food. Now, they aren’t seeing as much of that, so we obviously aren’t seeing as much of that.”

That means a smaller selection for families who come here.

“My budget is stretched,” said Lisk. “It’s really hard to get some of the proteins, canned or frozen or anything. We had ground beef here, we had chicken, we had all kinds of things and now, it’s just not.”

Selection is something families can typically access at LSS.

“We serve five-days-worth of food, per client, she told 13abc. “They get choices, and that way, we feel like it’s going to be more suited for them.”

And those families don’t have to be from Toledo.

“We serve all zip codes, I served some people from Monroe today.” She added. “Most of the pantries are zip code specific because the clientele can end up being so large.”

Lisk said she reached out to Job and Family Services in Columbus for help, and they told her that this is a nationwide struggle.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” she said. “The SNAP benefits have been decreased, so a lot of people are either battling to get those back. It’s also the rising cost of food and transportation.”

The donation drive will take place Friday, August 26 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio building on Collingwood. They’re taking both perishable and non-perishable foods or monetary donations.

If you can’t make it during that time, Lisk said you can drop off donations any time.

You can visit their website or Facebook page for more information on other services LSS provides.

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