KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — U.S. food banks already dealing with increased demand from families sidelined by the pandemic now face a new challenge — surging food prices and supply chain issues pummeling the nation, and local food banks are feeling the pain.
Food for the Soul, a local homeless shelter and food bank in Kershaw County, in no exception.
Chief Executive Officer Laurey Carpenter says the amount they are paying for food that is not donated is skyrocketing. "In February of 2020, before the onslaught of the pandemic, we are averaging probably $1900 dollars a month," she said. "Right now, we're averaging about $4800 a month."
As the price has increased, they have also started to see an increase in the number of people that are coming to them for food. In the last three weeks they have seen a 30% increase, Carpenter said.
Carpenter says that donations have been helping. In fact, she said they received 13 turkeys from different companies on Monday alone.
Recently, the nonprofit has asking specifically for utensils and paper plates as a way to continue serving. Using these items helps them to limit cross-contamination, Carpenter said.
Typically, the organization will have a huge Thanksgiving meal, with a lot of help from churches and the community. Volunteers will come in and help do the dinner. However, with the pandemic continuing, they have limited the event this year.