Inflating prices brings demand and need at RGV food bank

Local News

PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Rising produce and grocery prices are expected to take a toll on families this holiday season.

While some turn to local food banks for help that may not be an option this year, but a local food bank said they are trying to overcome this challenge. 

Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley CEO Libby Saenz said they have faced several hardships since the pandemic.

“We do need volunteers, so we are in desperate need of volunteers as well.” Saenz added, “we’ve seen that the donations haven’t been coming in as much.”

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the U.S. consumer prices jumped 6.2% in October which is the highest inflation surge in 30 years. Which is making a higher demand for goods in the food bank. 

“Last year we were a little less. We were at 64,000 individuals every single week and right now there are 76,000,” said Saenz.

She said how the supply chain crisis has left some of their shelves at the food pantry empty. 

“A lot of your vegetables, your fruit and vegetables that come in canned goods, those things are either still stuck in a port or there not coming in or those orders have been canceled completely and were not able to get them,” said Saenz. 

But Saenz said the food bank makes up for that by giving 50% of produce to the people that need them. 

“We know that’s healthy; we know that’s good for our people and we want to make sure our neighbors receive that product,” said Saenz. 

They also rely on partnerships and donors in the community, which Saenz said they could still use more help with.

“We have 275 partner agencies throughout the Rio Grande Valley that help us do our distributions as well and we need donors,” said Saenz. 

The Food Bank said they hope to relieve any stress people during the holidays.

The Food Bank of the RGV is partnering with Boggus Ford for a distribution on Nov. 17 from 7 p.m. through 10 p.m.

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