DENVER – A persistent pandemic, soaring food prices, and supply chain issues make the 2021 Patch Holiday Food Drive happening in Denver and our network of 1,000+ locations through December 31st.
When the COVID-19 pandemic turned Americans’ lives upside down last year and plunged them into a sea of uncertainty, Patch partnered with Feeding America because we knew some of the estimated 13.1 million working-age adults that we asking for free meals or groceries for the first time included people here in Denver.
The situation has eased somewhat as Americans go back to work, but food insecurity remains a major concern. Feeding America estimates that 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, would face food insecurity by 2021.
In 2019, according to Feeding America data, around 9.8 percent of Colorado residents – or 566,440 people – were considered unsafe about their diet. About 75,240 of these people lived in Denver.
As the aftermath of the pandemic continues, Feeding America estimates that as many as 98,780 people could go hungry in Denver.
Some of the affected programs in Denver are:
“Our monthly food distribution volume is still well above pre-COVID-19 levels,” said Aditi Desai, spokesman for the Food Bank of The Rockies.
“Fooding America predicts that 1 in 8 people in our area will be food insecure. We met Alpha on a recent food distribution. She is 101 and sadly lost her two children to COVID The Bank of the Rockies has become a lifeline. And we hear stories like that on a regular basis. We will continue to show up for our churches despite all the challenges.
“But we can’t do this work alone. We need you. The three most powerful ways to help are volunteering, giving gifts, and sharing food aid resources with starving community members. Every dollar donated helps us get enough food.” for four meals out the door and 96 cents of every dollar goes straight to our food distribution programs, “Desai said.
“With the inspired support of community members, we can ensure that every person in our area has the resources to be successful. Go to foodbankrockies.org for information about volunteering, financial gifts, and where to find food aid. “
Bryan Nichols, vice president of sales at Transnational Foods Inc., which supplies groceries to more than 100 Feeding America-affiliated food banks, told The Associated Press that supply chain problems may be easing, but the higher cost of grocery shipping overseas , will stay a while longer.
“The average container that came in from Asia before COVID would cost about $ 4,000,” said Nichols. “Today the same container costs about $ 18,000.”
Peanut butter is another staple food that hungry families rely on because it is relatively high in nutritional value and available at a price they can afford – or rather it was.
Lynne Telford, the executive director of Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado in Colorado Springs, told the AP that the cost of a truckload – or 40,000 pounds – of peanut butter fell 80 percent from June 2019 to $ 51,000 in August have risen. Mac and cheese are 19 percent more expensive to make than a year ago and five percent more to cook a hamburger than three months ago.
Katie Fitzgerald, CEO of Feeding America, told the AP she wasn’t sure how long food banks will be able to bear the higher costs.
“What happens when food prices go up makes food insecurity worse for those who suffer,” said Fitzgerald.
That means people who are used to getting a family-sized can of tuna may have to settle for smaller doses or replace other staples in order to increase their meal allowances. It’s like adding an “insult to injury” staggering from the uncertainty created by the pandemic, Fitzgerald said.
The Associated Press contributed to the coverage.
Patch photo / Shutterstock
How can you help
Through December 31st, we encourage readers to make a tax-deductible contribution to Feeding America on the Patch Holiday Food Drive. For every dollar donated to the organization, 10 meals are purchased.
Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that more than 32 million Americans, including 13 million children, will fail to get enough nutritious food by 2021. This is a social project run by Patch; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. Find out how to donate in your community or find a pantry near you.